Keynote Speakers

Prof. Jeannette Bayisenge

We are delighted to announce one of the Guest of honour and keynote speakers for the Ubuntu Social work conference, Prof. Jeannette BAYISENGE.

Prof. Jeannette BAYISENGE is the current Minister of Gender and Family Promotion in the Government of Rwanda. She has served as the Director of the Centre for Gender Studies and Associate Professor of Gender Studies at the University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences where she had worked since May 2004. She also served as the President of the National Women’s Council since June 2018 until her appointment as Minister.

Jeannette also served on several boards and councils including the Chairperson of the Council of the City of Kigali and Gasabo District, Vice Chairperson of Board of Directors in the Local Administrative Entities Development Agency (LODA) as well as Board member in the National ID Agency (NIDA).

She holds a Ph.D in Social Work with a focus on gender from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, a Master’s degree in Development Cooperation with specialization in Women and Development from Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul- South Korea and a bachelor degree in Social Work from National University of Rwanda.

Her teaching and research interests focus on gender related subjects, and she has published several articles and book chapters.

For more detail, visit the ministry website:

Minister of State Ignatienne Nyirarukundo

The Guest Honor is Ignatienne Nyirarukundo who is the Minister of State In Charge of Social Affairs. Prior to her appointment, Hon. Nyirarukundo was a Member of Parliament.

Dr. Jacob Rugare Mugumbate

We are delighted to announce one of the keynote speakers for the Ubuntu Social work conference, Dr. Jacob Rugare Mugumbate.

Dr. Jacob Rugare Mugumbate  is a Zimbabwean Social Worker and academician. Presently, serving as the Social Work lecturer at the University of Wollongong (Australia) in the School of Health and Society. Prior to the current appointment, he worked in the School of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Newcastle (UON) while researching for a PhD awarded in 2017. Before that, he was a Social Work lecturer at Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE) in Zimbabwe. His social work practice in the areas of health, disability and migration has shaped my research. His research centers on social justice in relation to health, disability and migrant communities and the recognition and use of decolonised and indigenous knowledges in education, practice and research. He is a member of the National Association of Social Work (Zimbabwe), African Social Work Network, Epilepsy Alliance Africa (founder) and the Epilepsy Resource Centre (Zimbabwe) (founder) among others. He is also an Associate Editor of the African Journal of Social Work.

Dr. Godfred Boahen
Dr Godfred Boahen is the National Safeguarding Policy and Development Lead & Responsible Officer: Learning Lessons Case Reviews at the Church of England. After a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University, Godfred trained as a social worker and was employed in some of the most economically-deprived and ethnical diverse parts of London. Between 2016 – 2019, Godfred worked for the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) and he led (with Dr Calum Webb and Professor Kate Morris) the development of the BASW Anti-poverty Practice Guide. Godfred researches and practices in international social work and has a paper ‘No Poverty: the role of social work and social welfare in achieving Sustainable Development Golas 1’ under review for the Encyclopaedia of UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Speaker Prof. Uzoma Okoye

Uzoma Odera Okoye is a Professor in the Department of Social Work at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria. She was a Fulbright Scholar at Boston College, USA during the 1999/2000 academic year.  She obtained her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Social Gerontology from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 2002. She is one of the founding faculty members of the Department of Social Work, University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 2007.  She served as Head of Department from 2008-2010 and 2016-2019. She is also the first Head of Department of Social Work, University of Benin, from July 2011 to May 2013.

Prof.  Okoye is the author of over fifty journal articles and book chapters on social gerontology and other social issues. She has attended many local and international conferences and served as resource person in many workshops, seminars and conferences. Prof. Okoye has supervised and graduated over thirty Masters and ten PhD students. Her current research interests include; care giving and social support for older adults, climate change and older adults, migration, internal displacement and public health issues. She teaches research methods, social work practice methods, social gerontology, social work administration and intervention at both undergraduate and post graduate levels currently. She is married to a fellow professor and they have four children.

For more details: UNN Staff Profile

Speaker Prof Adrian van Breda

Professor Adrian van Breda trained as a clinical social worker at UCT and did his doctorate at RAU in multicultural scale development. His research focus is resilience theory – how people, particularly individuals, families and organisations, bounce back from adversity, or even thrive in the face of adversity. Initially he studied the resilience of families having to deal with the repeated disruptions of family members travelling for work. He is currently doing much of his research with Girls and Boys Town, looking at the processes that youth follow as they transition out of the care of the child welfare system and journey towards independent living. He has recently replicated this study in a study of four African countries, including Ghana, Uganda and Zimbabwe, as well as South Africa. He is currently conducting a study on the relationships between vulnerability, resilience and academic progress of primary school children in a vulnerable community.

Adrian teaches introduction to social work and casework at undergraduate levels, and psychotherapy and clinical practice at postgraduate levels and  coordinates the Masters in Clinical Social Work.

Adrian is the editor of the Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development among other national and international responsibilities.

For more details: Adrian van Breda (

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