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The ZIMCHE Council

The council is the governing body that provides policy direction. Council members are appointed by the Minister responsible for higher education on a 3-year term based on expertise and experience in higher education and research and ability to give guidance and advice on matters of higher education in the country to ensure that the functions of Council are discharged according to the highest professional standards.

The Council comprises twenty-one men and women with vast experience in higher education. Four Vice Chancellors in the Council are meant to represent all universities. It should be noted that these Vice Chancellors are not in Council to defend the positions of their universities and those of their colleagues but to serve the interests of the ZIMCHE, all universities, and all stakeholders.

The Council executes its functions through specialist Committees. The Secretariat carries out the day-to-day work of the council. Currently, there are five committees which are :

  1. Executive Committee
  2. High Education Quality Assurance Committee
  3. High Education Funding & Finance Committee
  4. Academic & Students Affairs Committee
  5. Human Resource Committee

Council Chairman

Chairman of the ZIMCHE Council

Professor Mandivamba Rukuni  

University of Zimbabwe D.Phil. (1984); University of Reading (1978), M.Sc. Tropical Agricultural Development), B.Sc. (Honours) Agriculture. University of Rhodesia (1977); Diploma in Agriculture. Chibero Agriculture College (1973);

LANGUAGES: English (fluent); Shona (fluent)

Joined the ZIMCHE Board in December 2023


  • Presidential Zimbabwe Hero Medal for Outstanding National Contribution (2021)
  • Honorary Doctoral Degree (2008) School of the Prophets Institute of Jerusalem under the Auspices of the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem, Aliyah, Dimona, Israel,
  • Golden Globe Award (2008) from the Black Child and Family Institute, Lansing, Michigan.
  • State of Michigan Seal and Citation from Michigan House of Representatives for the work on Being Afrikan (2008).
  • Chairman, Commission of Inquiry into Land Tenure Systems of Zimbabwe, 1993 – 1994.
  • Nominee, 1990 and 1992 Africa Prize for Leadership in the Sustainable End of Hunger.
  • Professor Extraordinary, Dept. of Agricultural Economics, Univ. of Pretoria 2000-2004
  • Commonwealth Scholar, 1977-8, University of Reading.
  • Best All-Round Graduate, 1973, Chibero College of Agriculture.


  • 2009 to date: Founder and Director of BEAT Doctoral Academy
  • 2006 – 2009: Director of Africa Programs, W. K. Kellogg Foundation and Program Director 1997 2005 1980 – 2001: University of Zimbabwe: 1986 – 1992: Dean of Agriculture; 1993 – 2001 Professor of Agri-Economics,
  • 1977:  Junior Executive, Cold Storage Commission of Zimbabwe.


  • PRESENT: Chair, Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (ZIMCHE) 2024; Chair, Great Zimbabwe University (2021-24)
  • PAST:  ZIMNAT Life Limited; Kingdom Financial Holdings PLC (Chairman); Discount Company of Zimbabwe (Vice Chairman); Kingdom Financial Services (Chairman); Seed Company PLC; ZIMSUN Hotels PLC; Triangle Ltd; Hunyani Paper PLC; Grain Marketing Board; Agricultural and
  • Rural Development Authority (ARDA Vice Chair); Agricultural Research Council (Chair)


  • Member of Technical Advisory Group, World Bank Land Governance Assessment Framework (2014- 2020)  
  • Member of Advisory Board, Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS), University of the Western Cape, Cape Town (2010-20190  
  • Member of Board of Directors: Institute of development Studies, University of Sussex (2000 2006), UK  
  • Chair of the Board of Trustees, Wildlife in the Sustainable Development of Mankind (WISDOM) 1996-2005  
  • Member of Board of Trustees, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington DC- 2003-2006  
  • Member of Board of Trustees, Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical International (CIAT) (Center for Tropical Agriculture) Cali, Colombia 2004-2006  
  • Member of Editorial Board, Agricultural Economics: The Journal of the International Association of Agricultural Economists. 1986-2004.  
  • Member of Editorial Board, Zimbabwe Journal of Agricultural Research. Harare. 1991-2003.  
  • Member of Editorial Board, AGRIKON Journal. South Africa 1997-2002  
  • Consulting editor, World Development Journal 1996-2005  
  • Chair, Task Force for Food and Nutrition in Zimbabwe (1998 – 2008)  
  • Chairman, Agricultural Research Council of Zimbabwe (1986-2003)  
  • Member, External Program and Management Review of Tropical Soil Biology Foundation (TSBF), 2000  
  • Chairperson for High Level Oversight Panel, FAO Department of Sustainable Development 1997-2000  
  • Chair, TAC/CGIAR External Program and Management Review Panel for West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA), 1999-2000  
  • Consulting Editor for Journal Irrigation and Drainage Systems.  Published by Martinus Nijhoff, Dordrecht, The Netherlands. 1985-1994.  
  • Member, Board of Governors of the Southern Africa Centre for Co-ordination of Agricultural Research (SACCAR) 1986-1991.  
  • Member, Sub-Committee on African Agriculture, of the Joint Committee on African Studies, American Council of Learned Sciences and the Social Science Research Council, New York 1986-1991.  
  • Member, Oversight Committee, McKnight Foundation Collaborative Crops Research Programme.1993-2000.  
  • He has served as a consultant to, among others, the World Bank, European Union, USAID, DFID, CIDA, FAO, AfDB, UNDP, Rockefeller Foundation, Winrock Foundation, McKnight Foundations, and others.   
  • Advisor to the Africa Union-NEPAD, SADC, COMESA and several African governments on agriculture, food systems, and land governance.  
  • Adjunct Professor, National University of Science and Technology 2010 to 2017  
  • Professor Extraordinaire, University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. 2014 to 2019  

He has published 15 books and more than 100 articles.

Vice-Chairperson of the Zimche Board

Professor dr. Paul Mapfumo
BSc Hons Agric (UZ), MPhil, PhD (UZ)

Joined the ZIMCHE Board in December 2020.

Professor Paul Mapfumo is the current Vice Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe. Professor Mapfumo serves on several national and international Boards where he plays critical roles in strategic and policy advisory. He has served in the following roles: Chairperson of the National Manpower Advisory Council, Board member of Zimbabwe Staff College Control Board, Board member of the Zimbabwe National Army Schools Welfare Trust, lead expert of Zimbabwe National Geospatial Agency, and delegate on the Zimbabwe Climate Change Negotiation Delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (2014-16, 2018).”  Professor Mapfumo also serves as a member of the United Nations High-Level Panel of Experts of the Committee on World Food Security and convener for the UN international report on agroecology, among many distinguished posts.

Council Members

Professor David Jambgwa Simbi

BSc Applied Chemistry -University of PotoMont, PhD Metallurgy specialising in Corrosion Science and Engineering-University of Leeds.

Joined the ZIMCHE Board in December 2020

Professor David Jambgwa Simbi is the current Vice Chancellor of Chinhoyi University of Technology, a position he has held since May 2007. Professor Simbi is a current member of the Scientific Industrial Research and Development Centre Board and the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council Board. 

Rev. Prof. Peter Mageto

Appointed to the ZIMCHE Board in December 2023.

  • Vice-Chancellor and President (Africa University, Zimbabwe)
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Africa University, Zimbabwe)
  • Vice Chancellor and Professor of Ethics (University of Kigali, Rwanda)
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic Affairs and Student Welfare

(Kenya Methodist University, Kenya)

  • Head of Department, Acting Dean and Associate Professor of Ethics

(Daystar University, Kenya)

  • Assistant Professor (Adjunct, University of Evansville, USA)

Reverend Professor Peter Mageto, PhD in Theological and Ethical Studies (Garrett USA), has been the 5th Vice-Chancellor and President of Africa University (AU) since March 2022 and Deputy Vice-Chancellor since 2019. Before joining AU, Mageto held the Vice Chancellor and Professor of Ethics position at the University of Kigali in Rwanda.

A distinguished scholar of theology and ethics Mageto is a former recipient of the Paul E. Newing Memorial Prize for Greek from St. Paul’s United Theological College amongst other leadership awards.

Earlier this year, he was elected Secretary of the African Association of Methodist Institutions of Higher Education Board (AAMIHE).

Also, this year, the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary established a Mageto Fellows Program and named him a distinguished alumni.

He serves on the Board of the Regional Universities Forum (RUFORUM), which focuses on capacity building in agriculture and is an active member of the Public Responsibility in Medicine & Research (PRIM & R), the Africa Society of Evangelical Theology (ASET) , the International Association for Education in Ethics (IAEE) and The Society of Christian Ethics.

He has long experience with Kenya’s Commission for University Education (CUE) in programme and institutional accreditation, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Ethics Committee, and consulted with UNDP, Kenya.

Peter’s commitment to community service is deeply rooted in his character which led to the establishment of Amani Reading Centre and the Amani Health Centre in Nyamira County, Kenya as communities access quality services in a subsidized setting.

Professor Sunungurai Dominica Chingarande

  • A professor of Sociology
  • Holds a PhD in Sociology, a Master of Science in Sociology and Social Anthropology and a BSc Honours in Sociology from the University of Zimbabwe.

Appointed to the ZIMCHE Board in December 2023.

  • Vice Chancellor, Women’s University in Africa (2021 to date)
  • Vice Chancellor, Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University (2016-2019)
  • Pro-Vice Chancellor, Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University (2014-2016)
  • Chairperson, Sociology Department and member of Senate, University of Zimbabwe (2008-2010)
  • Lecturer, Sociology Department, University of Zimbabwe (2000-2014)
  • Teaching Assistant, Sociology Department, University of Zimbabwe (1998-2000)
  • Vice Chairperson, University of Zimbabwe Research Board (2011-2014)
  • Member of the Research Council of Zimbabwe Editorial Committee (2012-2015)
  • A focal person for Zimbabwe on the Long-term Assistance and Services for Research (Laser) Partner University Led Solutions Engine (PULSE) working with Purdue University, Makerere University and Catholic Relief Services (2019-2024)
  • Focal Person for Zimbabwe for the Resilience Africa Network (RAN), working with over 100 Universities in Africa (2013-2018)
  • Liaison Officer, Organisation for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA) in Ethiopia, Zimbabwe Chapter, responsible for the coordination of social science research in colleges and universities in Zimbabwe (2008-2011)
  • Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education Programme reviewer
  • External examiner Africa University, Rhodes University, University of Fort Hare, University of Johannesburg, Midlands State University, University of Venda, University of Pretoria
  • Trustee for the Africa Youth Innovation Centre
  • Trustee for the Women in Academia Network
  • Board Member, International Association of Universities (2022-2026)     
  • Board member, Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (2024-2026)
  • Board member Zimbabwe Women’s Resource Centre and Network (2021-2025)
  • Board Member, Zimbabwe Research Network (2022-2026)
  • Board member Forum for African Women Educationists (Zimbabwe Chapter) (2021-2025)          
  • Board member Forum for African Women Educationalists (Africa) (2024-2027)
  • Board member, Centre for Zimbabwean Studies, University of Rhodes
  • She has won several awards for her outstanding performance as an educationalist and administrator.

Mrs Margaret Mukurazhizha

BCom Accounting (MSU), MSc Strategic Management (CUT)

Appointed to the ZIMCHE Board in December 2020.

Margaret has over fifteen years of Audit and Risk Management experience in the Private and Public Sector. She is the Head of Internal Audit and Risk Management at Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.

Margaret is a Certified Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB) ISO 31000 Risk Manager. She holds a Master of Science Risk Management and Insurance from the National University of Science and Technology, a Master of Science in Strategic Management from Chinhoyi University of Technology Zimbabwe, and a Bachelor of Accounting Degree from Midlands State University Zimbabwe. Margaret is also an educator by profession; she holds a diploma in Education from the University of Zimbabwe.

Margaret is a member of the Institute of Risk Management United Kingdom (IRMUK), the Institute of Risk Management South Africa (IRMSA), and the Institute of Internal Auditors. She is also an Enterprise Risk Management International Network (ERMINe) member.

Margaret is the IRMUK Zimbabwe Regional Group Chairperson and the Chairperson of the Coronation Risk Advisors (PVT) LTD Board. She is also a Council Member of the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (ZIMCHE) and a Member of the Audit Committee of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. Margaret is active in her community and serves as treasurer of the Real-Life Foundation. This not-for-profit organisation works with vulnerable women in prisons, and she is also a founding member of Deborah Arise International, a women-empowering interdenominational organisation.

Professor Norman Maphosa

BA(Hons) University of London, M.Ed, PhD (University of Zimbabwe )

Council and Chairman of the Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council (ZIMSEC)

Appointed to the ZIMCHE Board in December 2020.

Professor Norman Maphosa is a former:

  • Founding Vice Chancellor (Solusi University)
  • Director General ZIPAM
  • Lecturer University of Zimbabwe
  • Chairman ZIMSEC
  • Board Member University of Botswana
  • Member Tertiary Education Council of Botswana
  • Deputy Secretary Ministry of the Public Service.
  • Principal Training Officer International Labour Organisation (ILO)
  • Secondary School teacher, Kutama College, Tegwane High School and Bernard Mizeki College
  • Training Officer, Domboshawa Training Centre
  • Participation in accreditation of  Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) church universities and schools locally and internationally.

He holds the following qualifications:

  •  D.PHIL  in Education, University of Zimbabwe (UZ)
  • MA Adult Education, University of Zimbabwe (UZ)
  • BA Hons English University of London
  •  Diploma in Education, University of Zimbabwe ( UZ)
  • Management Consultancy, Royal Institute of Administration(RIPA, UK) and the Swedish Institute of Publish Administration and Administration (SIPU) Sweden)
  • Member Certified Management Consultants, Zimbabwe

Prof. Collen Masimirembwa

B.Sc. Honours Biochemistry, Ph.D. Biochemistry, UZ, Ph.D. Karoliska Institute, Sweden

Appointed to the ZIMCHE Board in December 2020

Prof. Collen Masimirembwa is a Biomedical Pharmacologist with research expertise in Pharmaceutical and Genomic Medicine. He graduated with a BSc Hons degree in Biochemistry, a DPhil in Biochemistry from the University of Zimbabwe, and a PhD in Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Uppsala University, he spent ten (10) years working as a Principal Scientist at AstraZeneca Pharmaceutical company in Sweden before establishing the African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology. Collen has made important discoveries in genomics that are of clinical relevance to the safe and efficacious use of medicines in African populations. As a research leader, he has attracted major research grants from funding organizations and the pharmaceutical industry. Collen has always combined innovative research with capacity building with respect to infrastructure and skilled manpower. For his contributions to Science he has won many national and international awards, fellowship to academies of science and professorships at many prestigious universities.

Engineer Dorothy Vimbayi Madziya

Master in Business Administration (ZOU), MSc in Manufacturing Systems and Operations Management (University of Zimbabwe), B.Tech Honours in Production Degree (CUT)

Appointed to the ZIMCHE Board in December 2020

Engineer Dorothy Vimbayi Madziya is a registered Professional Engineer and a Prince II Practitioner, with 17 years of progressive experience in project management, Operations Management and the Development and Maintenance of Integrated Management Systems. Eng. Madziya is currently the Director of Engineering Services in the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works. Her notable previous appointments include Former member of the Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers Conference Planning Committee, Assistant Project Manager at Zimbabwe Power Company, Chief Operating Officer at TN Harlequin Luxaire, Projects Engineer at Sable Chemical Industries and Research Engineer at the Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre. She brings to the ZIMCHE her strategic and operational oversight to support the mandate of promoting, coordinating, and regulating Higher Educational Institutions in Zimbabwe.

Mrs Josephine Ncube

  • MBA (ESAMI), BL Hons, LLB UZ
  • Admitted Legal Practitioner of the Supreme Court and High Court of Zimbabwe
  • Member of the Law Society of Zimbabwe

Appointed to the ZIMCHE Board in December 2020


  • Legal and Corporate Governance Consultant
  • Gender Justice Expert
  • Former Chamber Secretary and Acting Town Clerk of the City of Harare
  • Represented the Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe, (UCAZ) locally and internationally.
  • Served as Chief Law Policy and Legal Research, Ministry of Justice Legal and Parliamentary.
  • Served as Counsel to the Parliament of Zimbabwe.
  • Secretary to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.
  • Principal Law Officer, Legal Drafting – Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
  • Public Prosecutor. Provincial and Regional Courts.

Board Memberships:


  • Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education
  • Clarion Insurance Company
  • United Methodist Women’s Centre Board
  • Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education
  • Clarion Insurance Company
  • United Methodist Women’s Centre Board


  • Chairperson of the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ)
  • Vice Chairperson Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA)
  • Member of the National Building Society Board
  • Member of Chinhoyi University of Technology Council
  • Member of the Pensions Advisory Board

Mrs Ruth Makombe

Master of Business Administration, (Nottingham Trent University), Strategic Risk Management, UZ, Management Leadership Development, Gordon Institute Business School, Certified International Retail Banker, Lafferty International Retail Banking Academy

Appointed to the ZIMCHE Council in December 2020

Ruth Makombe is the Managing Director/CEO of the Success Microfinance Bank Limited. Ruth is a renowned banker who has served in executive capacities at Standard Chartered Bank, Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group and BancABC.

Prof. Kuzvinetsa Peter Dzvimbo

Chief Executive Officer

Prof. K. P. Dzvimbo started his career in Education as secondary school teacher (Prince of Wales Secondary School, Freetown – Sierrea Leone) in 1977. He then moved on to The Ahmadu Bello University in Northern Nigeria as a Lecturer in 1979 when he was doing his M. Ed. Degree at that university. 

In Zimbabwe his professional career in tertiary education started as the head of the Production Unit of the Zimbabwe Integrated National Teacher Education Course (ZINTEC) in 1981.  He then moved on to the Belvedere Technical Teachers’ College in 1983 where he became Vice Principal until 1986 when he joined the University of Zimbabwe as a Lecturer and staff development fellow in the United Sates (USA).

While studying for his Ph.D. in the USA at the University of Wisconsin Madison he was also a lecturer in Education Policy Studies.  After completing his Ph.D. in the USA, he joined the University of Zimbabwe as a Lecturer and rose through the ranks to become a Senior Lecturer, Head of Department in Educational Adminsitratin, Dean in the Faculty of Education and Pro-Vice Chancellor in the same university.

Prof. Dzvimbo also taught at the following universities: University of the Witwatersrand as a Senior Lecturer, The Rand Afrikaans University as an Associate Professor.  He became the Founding Vice Chancellor of the Zimbabwe Open University and later left that position to join the World Bank in Washington, DC as a Senior Education Specialist.  In that position he worked in higher education in the Caribbean and the African continent.  He also provided higher education sector support in non-African countries.

From the World Bank, Prof. Dzvimbo became the Rector of the African Virtual University in Nairobi, Kenya for five years.  During this period, he worked with universities in Mozambique, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Zimbabwe, in multi-million-dollar e-learning in higher education project.

Prof. Dzvimbo became a full professor at the University of Johannesburg where he also became a head of the Department of Educational Administration.  Later on, he joined the University of South Africa (UNISA) as a Deputy Dean in the College of Human Sciences.  Later on, he became the founding Dean of the College of Education (CE) at UNISA.  When he left UNISA the CE had over eighty-four thousand students.

From Unisa, Prof. Dzvimbo joined the Vaal University of Technology (VUT), in Vereeniging, South Africa as the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Teaching and Research.  During that period, he also had responsibility for the VUT Science Park.  He left the VUT to join the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (ZIMCHE) as the CEO.  He is now in his second five year term in the ZIMCHE.  During this period Prof. Dzvimbo was also President of the Southern African Quality Assurance Network made up of Councils of Higher Education in the SADC countries that are part of a network of national organizations dealing with quality assurance in higher education.

Prof. Dzvimbo did post-doctoral work at Stanford University, USA in problem-based learning. He also did a Post Graduate course in Computer Applications in Educational Planning at Harvard University, USA. As a higher education specialist, Prof. Dzvimbo also sat on two UNESCO Boards (Paris and Moscow) for ten years on ICTs in Education. As Executive Dean in the CE at UNISA, in the RSA, Prof. Dzvimbo was seconded to work with the Minister of Basic and Secondary Education in Pretoria to advise her in the establishment of a Center for Continuing and Professional Development for School Principals in the RSA.

With offices in Nairobi, Kenya and Dakar, Senegal Prof. Dzvimbo led and managed the African Virtual University in ten Francophone, Anglophone, and Lusophone African countries in a higher education program. Prof. Dzvimbo has been an education consultant in several African countries including the RSA, Swaziland, Mozambique, Tanzania, Namibia, Uganda, and Malawi. Prof. Dzvimbo also sits on the Presidential Advisory Council. 

Prof. Dzvimbo has attended conferences and workshops in higher education in several countries which include, the UK, Scotland, the USA, Sweden, Germany, Nigeria, the RSA, Botswana, Lesotho, Mexico, and Canada.  He continues to do research and writing in his areas of higher education where he has published articles in peer reviewed journals on higher education and teacher education.  He has also been an editor of the Africa Education Review based at UNISA.  He sat on the editorial boards of journals such as the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Higher Education based in the USA and Studies in Higher Education based in the UK. As CEO of the ZIMCHE, Prof. Dzvimbo continues his quest for a de-colonial epistemic and ontological position in the provision of quality and relevant higher education in Zimbabwe as encapsulated in a Heritage Based Education 5.0 which now structures the form, content, and orientation of higher education in Zimbabwe as espoused and led by the Honourable Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development.  As we reform the higher education system in the country, our focus as the ZIMCHE is to ensure that we maintain a high quality of the higher education system provided by our universities.  The goal is to ensure that the curriculum in our universities that is based on the Minimum Bodies of Knowledge and skills delivers a higher education system that produces graduates who are innovative and have the knowledge, skills, and competencies to support Zimbabwe in achieving its National Development Strategy 1 and Vision 2030 to ensure that the country becomes an upper Middle-Income Economy by the year 2030.

Professor I Sithole Niang

  • PhD Biochemistry, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA, 1983-1988
  • BSc, Biochemistry, Honours, Royal Holloway College, University of London, UK, 1979-1982

Appointed to the ZIMCHE Board in December 2020.


  • Dean, Faculty of Science May 2022- present
  • Acting Dean, February 2021 to April 2022
  • Professor, University of Zimbabwe, Department of Biotechnology & Biochemistry, Jan 2013
  • Associate Professor, University of Zimbabwe, Department of Biochemistry Jan 2004-2012
  • Chairperson of Department, University of Zimbabwe, Biochemistry Dec 2008- June 2011
  • Senior Lecturer, University of Zimbabwe, Department of Biochemistry, 1998-2003
  • Lecturer, University of Zimbabwe, Department of Biochemistry, 1992-1998
  • Post-doctoral fellow/Research Associate, Plant Molecular Biology, Plant Research Laboratory, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA, 1988-1992

Idah Sithole-Niang is Dean of the Faculty of Science and professor in the Department of Biotechnology and Biochemistry at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ). She obtained an honours degree in Biochemistry from the University of London, UK and a PhD in Biochemistry from Michigan State University (MSU) in the USA working on chicken and Turkey herpesviruses (Marek’s disease). She was a postdoctoral fellow also at MSU working on bacterial genetics for four years. Her research has focused on the genetic improvement of cowpea and now works on gene and drug discovery from diverse microbial sources and extreme environments.

Sithole-Niang is Fellow of the World Academy of the Sciences, Fellow of the Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences, Zimbabwe Ambassador for the International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME), Fellow of the Salzburg Seminars. Sithole Niang is a member of the UZ Council, is Vice Chairman of the Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) Council, was Board Chair of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), was Vice Chairman of the Research Council of Zimbabwe, was Vice Chairman of the icipe Governing Council and Chair of its Nomination Committee, Chair of the African Women in Research and Development, (AWARD) Steering Committee, member of the Grants Review Committee (GRC) at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Advisory Board, Improved Maize for African Soils (IMAS) member of the Public Research and Regulations Initiatives (PRRI). Outstanding Graduate Woman of the Year Award at Michigan State University (MSU) in 1988, the First William Brown Fellow and Inaugural Fellow of the  International Service for the Acquisition of Agri- Biotechnology Applications (ISAAA)  in 1990, and the Rockefeller Biotechnology Career Fellowship in 1992. ). Sithole –Niang is winner of the Scientist of Year 2021 Award given by the International Achievements Research Center, Montreal, Canada and member and Honorary Professor of the Academic Union, Oxford, UK, 2024.

Ms Francesca Bahle Nxedlana

M.B.A; M.Sc. in Health Systems, as well is a licensed Baccalaureate Social Work- Texas (inactive by design).

Appointed to the ZIMCHE Board in December 2020.

Francesca Nxedhlana is a trailblazer at the intersection of information technology and healthcare systems, with over 40 years of multisectoral global experience.

CEO KBIT Khusela Business Intelligence technologies -SADC Region Francesca has achieved success as the CEO of KBIT, an award-winning technology enterprise and Systems Integrator in Africa representing global brands such as SAP, Cisco, Vodacom, Cartrack, and Huawei.

Under her stewardship in the last 14 years, KBIT has to named a few accolades such as SAP Africa Partner of the year twice in recognition of achieving and exceeding KPIs and delivering mission-critical systems to its customer ecosystem.

Managing Director/Co-Founder – North Central Health Services Austin, Texas:

From start-up, Francesca successfully led the agency through a rigorous licensing exercise by the Texas Department of Health and Human Services to become a fully licensed home health agency admitting critical and chronic patients for post-hospitalization care and Palliative Care. With responsibility to include: -Regulatory & Clinical Compliance; Chairing multi-disciplinary clinical team.