E8 Secretariat Board Members

Adv. Thabang Clement Phatela

E8 Sec. Board Chairperson, Practicing Advocate in Namibia


Advocate Thabang Phatela began his career in Lesotho and was called to the Bar in Lesotho is 1998. In 2010, he was admitted in Namibia and practices at the Namibian Bar of Chambers in Windhoek. Phatela has obtained the following qualifications, an LL.M in International Trade Law, and LLB and a BA Law degree he has frequently lead counsel in the Supreme Court, the High Court and Labour Court of Namibia. Coupled with years of experience and wealth of knowledge, Adv. Phatela’s practice areas include Public Law (Administrative, Constitutional and Regulatory Law), Commercial and Contractual matters, International Law, and Delictual Litigation.

Prof. Rajendra Maharaj

E8 Sec. Board Member, E8 Technical Committee Member, Director South African Medical Research Centre (MRC)


Prof Rajendra Maharaj holds a PhD in Entomology from the University of KwaZulu Natal as well as a second Masters in Infectious Diseases from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. His research interests focus on public health, malaria control and infectious disease control.

Prof Maharaj has over 30 years of experience in malaria research and control and his main areas of research is innovative technologies for the control of malaria vectors, especially pertaining to large-scale vector control.

He is currently the Director of the Office of Malaria Research at the South African Medical Research Council and serves on various national and international Boards such as the South African Malaria Elimination Board and the World Health Organisation Vector Control Working Group on indoor residual spraying. He is also on the Board of Lubombo Spatial Development Initiative 2 having oversight of the implementation of the trinational MOSASWA programme.

Prof Maharaj has attended and participated in national, regional and international conferences. Annually, since 2015, he hosts the “Annual Southern African Malaria Conference”. His work has been disseminated through the publication of almost 100 scholarly articles and publication in peer-reviewed manuscripts.

Prof Maharaj hols an associate professorship at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and an extraordinary professorship at the University of Pretoria. In this capacity he has supervised and co-supervised doctoral, masters and honours students at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal and the University of Pretoria.

Dr. Charles Paluku

E8 Sec. Board Member, Senior Malaria Technical Advisor, African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA)


Dr Charles Paluku, Senior Malaria Technical Advisor, African Leaders Malaria Alliance is a highly qualified public health development specialist with a successful career of over 30 years in the national, regional and the international program management in both communicable and non-communicable diseases.

He holds a Diploma for Doctor of Medicine of University of Kinshasa (Lovanium) DR Congo; a Master of Public Health, International Course in Health Development from Prins Leopold Institute for Tropical Medicine, Antwerp- Belgium, a Diploma on Malariology and Malaria control from University of Bordeaux II, France and a Certificate in Applied Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Epidemic Intelligence Service ( EIS ) of the Centres for Disease Control (USA).

Dr Paluku has been member of several professional association and working groups and worked for the World Health Organization as Team Leader of the malaria control/elimination programme at the Inter-country Support Team (IST) for Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) in Harare , Zimbabwe and for the Ministry of Health, Democratic Republic of the Congo as Director, Combating Childhood Communicable Diseases Programme, Kinshasa, DRC an integrated programme (Malaria control, Expanded Program on Immunization, Diarrhoea Diseases, Acute Respiratory Infection, Surveillance of Viral haemorrhagic fever, Monkeypox and other viruses, Cholera, Plague and other zoonosis).

Mr. E. Neville Isdell

E8 Sec. Board Member, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Chairperson


Mr E. Neville Isdell is the former chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company where he worked for 43 years.  Mr. Isdell took the world’s largest beverage company to new heights during his tenure.  He expanded on the company’s proud legacy of corporate responsibility by embedding sustainability throughout every facet of the organization and helping ensure its role as a community-connected twenty-first century enterprise.  These efforts resulted in The Coca-Cola Company’s return to Fortune’s “World Most Admired Companies” list in 2006.

In 2009, the company moved up to the #12 spot in the global ranking.  A native of Ireland, Mr. Isdell joined The Coca-Cola Company in 1966 in Zambia.  In 1972, he became general manager of Coca-Cola Bottling of Johannesburg.  He was named region manager for Australia in 1980.  In 1981, he became president of the bottling joint venture between The Coca-Cola Company and San Miguel Corporation in the Philippines.

In 1985, he became president of the company’s Central European Division.  In 1989, he was elected senior vice president of the company and appointed president of the Northeast Europe/Africa Group and led the company’s re-entry into new markets in India, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union.

In 1995, he was named president of the Greater Europe Group.  From 1998 to 2000, Mr. Isdell served as chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Beverages Plc in Great Britain.  He retired as vice chairman of Coca-Cola HBC in December 2001.  January 2002 to May 2004, Mr. Isdell was an international consultant to The Coca-Cola Company.  In June 2004, Mr. Isdell came out of retirement to lead The Coca-Cola Company as Chairman and CEO. He retired in 2009.

Mr Isdell serves on the Boards of WWF US (as Chairperson for 6 years until 2019); the Patron of WWF International; Peace Parks Foundation; Malaria Elimination 8 and Isdell Flowers Malaria Initiative. He is the founder and Chair of Epic Ireland, an award-winning museum based in Dublin Ireland. He served on several Boards of Quoted companies including General Motors in the US, British Telecom and Scottish and Newcastle in the UK and Boards in Australia, Mexico and Greece. Mr Isdell is a recipient of the Clinton Global Citizen Award. He received a bachelor’s degree in social sciences from the University of Cape Town and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School PMD.  He is the recipient of four honorary degrees.

Ms. Wambui Kimeria

E8 Sec. Board Member, Financial and Project Management Consultant


Wambui Kimeria is a Financial and Project management consultant and is currently a Senior Partner at Estrang Associates, a Financial Management Consulting Company registered in Kenya. Estrang Associates partners with private and public organizations to implement financial systems and controls.

Her career in Financial Management began at Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) where she worked in the Internal Audit Department performing grant management reviews of projects that were funded by various Donor Agencies such as Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, DFID, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sweden, DANIDA, IFAD, Government of Kenya, Government of Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg, Australian Government, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Netherlands amongst others. She also consulted for Deloitte.

Wambui has over 10 years’ experience and has worked with Government Institutions, Universities, NGOs, and private companies to establish and maintain sound financial management systems, budget and analyze resource allocations, and work toward financial sustainability.

She has also provided technical assistance to various projects in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Niger, Burkina Faso and Zambia. She studied Law at the University of Westminster and ACCA at Oshwal College.

Mr. Robert Ward


Senator Sibongile Ndlela-Simelane


Honourable Dr. Magda Robalo Correia E Silva


Dr Magda Robalo Correia e Silva is a Public health leader and active influencer. She is currently the Minister of Public Health of Guinea-Bissau.

Her professional career spans for nearly 30 years and has positively impacted people’s lives. She has contributed to improved health outcomes, organizational development, health and community systems strengthening. She is a partnership builder, a gender activist and an advocate for human development and rights.

From 2015 to 2018, she was the Director of the Communicable Diseases Cluster (CDS) at the Regional Office for Africa of the World Health Organization (WHO), leading WHO’s work on HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, Tuberculosis, Malaria, Neglected Tropical Diseases and Protection of the Human Environment Programmes in the African region. She coordinated a team of experts to advise African countries and work with partners in shaping health policies, promoting innovative and lasting solutions aimed at improving people’s health and wellbeing and reducing poverty. Some tangible results of her CDS’ Directorship include the establishment of an innovative public-private partnership-based special programme for the control of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN), pioneering coordinated HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Hepatitis programmes, operationalizing a new Programme focusing on Hepatitis Elimination and actively partnering to address the HIV/AIDS critical challenges in West and Central Africa. Her focus on Public Health and Environment led to a strengthened team to drive impact in the areas of water and sanitation, climate change and environmental health. She brought significant emphasis to the work to eradicate Guinea Worm Disease, one that causes major suffering, poverty, stigma and discrimination and disproportionately affects marginalized areas.

Dr Robalo’s professional experience in public health started in 1990 in her native Guinea-Bissau. She emerged as a young female leader and progressively rose to the positions of Director of the National Malaria and HIV/AIDS Programmes and Deputy Director of Communicable Diseases in the Ministry of Health, before joining UNICEF Guinea-Bissau as Programme Adviser for the Expanded Programme on Immunization, focusing on child health, polio eradication and routine immunization. She worked closely with the Ministry of Family and Gender, contributing to the development of the Strategic Plan on Women and Development.

Dr Robalo was the Lead Health Programme Officer at Plan International Guinea-Bissau where she spearheaded a commùnity driven malaria control programme in remote, rural east Regions of Guinea- Bissau, targeting women and children, and building community resilience through linkages with women led schèmes for revenue generation. The rapid expansion in coverage and use of insecticide-treated nets, improvement in access to effective malaria treatment significantly impacted people’s lives by reducing hospital admissions and community reported fever cases.

She joined WHO in 1998 as Medical Officer and became the Malaria Regional Advisor, a position she held from 2002 to 2007. She is widely credited for her leadership in helping countries transition from chloroquine-based treatment policies to the more effective artemisinin-based combination therapies, championing prevention and control of malaria in pregnancy, addressing epidemic prevention and control, establishing the Sahel Malaria Initiative and facilitating the channeling of financial resources to country programmes through development of proposals to the Global Fund.

Dr Robalo was the Head of WHO Country Offices in Namibia (2008-2013) and Ghana (2014-2015) after being the acting Head of WHO Offices in South Africa and Zambia. She advanced the nutrition, maternal, newborn and child mortality, HIV/AIDS agenda in Namibia, with successful resource mobilization efforts

General Goodson Mbewe


1.Current Role

Chairman General of the Cross Border Traders Association leads a 12-Member National Executive Committee to represent and advocate for the cross border traders in the Tripartite region-COMESA SADC and EAC.

Spearhead implementation of trade instruments and engaging policy makers at national and regional level.


2.Committee Members

Currently sit on Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry Committees for: Ease of Doing Business, Simplified Trade Regime-STR working Group and National Trade Facilitation Committee.


3.Professional/Business experience

Cross border trade business for more than ten(10) Years
Elected to Leadership in the Association from Branch chairperson to Treasury at national level. Participates in Church leadership and involved in the business community and commerce regulations at district and council level.



2011 – Economic Management of Africa Countries – Confucius Institute AIBO, China.

2002 – Business Administration Certificate – UNZA