Disruptive and systemic realignments in development, that shift power to Africa's visionaries are desperately needed. We can no longer talk of 'meaningful partnerships', 'localization', or 'locally owned solutions' while perpetuating outdated and inequitable models of development. The tide must turn."
Melizsa Mugyenyi is a partnership professional, adept at translating visionary growth goals into practical strategies for action. She has spearheaded the negotiation of dozens of impact-oriented partnerships in the nonprofit sector, including nontraditional partnerships involving corporates.
Melizsa is currently the Country Representative, East Africa for IREX - a global nonprofit dedicated to empowering youth, cultivating leaders, strengthening institutions, and extending access to quality education and information. In her role, Melizsa provides leadership for IREX’s expansion, strategic partnerships, and visibility in the region. She previously held the position of Head of Partnerships at the Aga Khan Foundation in East Africa, where she provided strategic oversight for the organization’s partnerships across Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Originally from Uganda and based in Kenya, Melizsa is passionate about strengthening development outcomes in her region. She has intentionally shaped her career around this goal – contributing to wider efforts within the youth, governance, civil society, health, and education sectors. Specifically, Melizsa has designed, managed or fundraised for high impact initiatives while working within philanthropic, intergovernmental, NGO and international cooperation organizations.
Melizsa began her foray into international development at the GIZ Kenya, tasked with implementing Germany’s support to the country’s 2007 post-election crisis reform agenda. Later, she went on to support constitution and judicial reform in the country while at the International Development Law Organization (IDLO). Melizsa is a passionate board member for Lwala Community Alliance, a leading Kenyan nonprofit that builds the capacity of rural communities to advance their own comprehensive wellbeing. She holds a BA in Politics and International Relations from the University of Sheffield, and an MA in Law, Globalization, and Development from the University of London (SOAS).