We are looking for Commonwealth citizens to share their views ahead of the 2024 Heads of Government Meeting. Sign up to take part

Regional Conversation: Africa and Europe

Jump to Guests
Maria Sarungi Tsehai
Herman Grech
Lillian Kyomuhangi Mworeko
Shaama Sandooyeea
Date & Time
12:00pm, 14 March 2024 - 2:00pm, 14 March 2024
About the event

This event marks the second of four Regional Conversations ahead of the 2024 Commonwealth People’s Forum in Samoa. We are inviting civil society experts from Africa and Europe to share their views.

Participants will contribute concrete recommendations to address some of the most urgent issues of our time—climate justice, health justice, and freedom of expression—and establish a renewed vision for the Commonwealth.

The contributions shared will help to shape this year’s People’s Forum, the largest gathering of civil society in the Commonwealth. The People’s Forum takes place alongside the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and offers a platform for civil society to challenge, engage and ultimately inspire change.

Our Regional Conversations—taking place across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Pacific—are part of a wider effort to influence the proceedings at the Heads of Government Meeting. The findings of the Conversations—combined with those from international surveys and the People’s Forum itself—will be summarised and presented to decision-makers over the course of CHOGM.

This event will open with a summary of our global launch event held in November 2023, and then a panel of leading practitioners and advocates will present their regional perspectives. We will then move into breakout sessions where attendees will be able to present concrete and innovative ideas that can create a more resilient and sustainable common future.

Please note that this is an invitation-only event. If you want to contribute ideas and help shape the Commonwealth People’s Forum and Heads of Government Meeting in Samoa in October 2024, join our mailing list: Path to Samoa: Online Consultation. 

Photo: USAID

Maria Sarungi Tsehai Moderator
Herman Grech Speaker
Lillian Kyomuhangi Mworeko Speaker
Shaama Sandooyeea Speaker
Maria Sarungi Tsehai

Maria Sarungi Tsehai is a media and communication expert. She is the director-producer of award-winning films and documentaries and has been a presenter and producer of many well-known and highly viewed shows in Tanzania since 2000. Aside from production, Maria is also a communication consultant, having provided strategic communication consultancy, PR management and media training to various organisations including UN agencies, civil society organisations and individuals. She is the director and owner of Compass Communications in Tanzania, which she founded with her husband David Tsehai in the year 2000 and has worked extensively in strategic communication, media management and communication.

Maria is the founder of the hashtag movement #ChangeTanzania and is better known since 2021 for the Twitter Spaces that she organises with activists called #MariaSpaces. She hosts people from all walks of life, experts, politicians and activists in discussions around human rights, good governance and accountability.

Herman Grech

Herman Grech is an award-winning journalist and playwright. With a 27-year career in journalism, Herman currently serves as editor-in-chief of Times of Malta, the country’s biggest news organisation. A vocal advocate for human rights and media freedom, Herman is also a founding member of PEN Malta, a former TV presenter and a theatre director. Throughout his career, he has interviewed world leaders, led debates, and moderated panel discussions. He was among a handful of journalists who investigated Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder, coverage which led to unprecedented protests. Herman went on to write and direct the play They Blew Her Up, which won Malta’s national award for best production of the year and toured Europe.

Lillian Kyomuhangi Mworeko

Lillian Kyomuhangi Mworeko, Executive Director at the International Community of Women Living with HIV Eastern Africa, is a trailblazing advocate for HIV&AIDS and women’s rights advocate. Armed with a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Hons) from Makerere University Kampala, a holder of a Diploma in Leadership & Management from Management Sciences for Health; and a wealth of leadership and management qualifications, Lillian spearheads impactful initiatives in HIV/TB, sexual and reproductive health, gender and human rights programming.

As the Executive Director and founding member of ICWEA and the lead implementer of Community Led Monitoring in Uganda, she champions women’s HIV advocacy, advocating for universal access to HIV/TB treatment, expanded SRHR choices, including female-controlled HIV prevention tools and family planning. Lillian is at the forefront of global partnerships, co-leading the technical group on ending HIV-related stigma and discrimination.

Lillian is a member of the African Women Prevention Community Accountability Board (AWPCAB), a member of the Steering Committee for the Global Alliance on ending AIDS in Children by 2030 and formerly a member of the WHO’s Global Validation Advisory Board (GVAC). Lillian is a member of the Advisory Group for CQUIN and a member of Gilead’s GCAG.

Her influential roles span prestigious boards and advisory groups, notably with the Global Fund and the ECHO trial’s Global Community Advisory Board. Recognised for her unwavering commitment, Lillian has received multiple accolades, including the CHANGE Courageous Changemaker Award and the Uganda HIV&AIDS Leadership Award. She has significantly empowered women and girls while tirelessly fighting for the rights of PLHIV, ensuring equitable access to treatment, care, and prevention services. Lillian Kyomuhangi Mworeko embodies leadership and dedication in advancing women’s health and human rights on a global scale.

Shaama Sandooyeea

Shaama is a marine biologist and climate activist from Mauritius. She is the co-founder of the local chapter of the climate protest movement Fridays for Future in Mauritius and alongside Greenpeace participated in the world’s first underwater climate strike in the Indian Ocean. She participated as an observer in the negotiations for the UN High Seas Treaty in August 2022 and intervened on the Clean Shipping Coalition’s behalf at the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 80) in July 2023 at the International Maritime Organisation. Shaama is actively advocating for protection of the high seas as a tool against the climate crisis and for holding industries accountable for their contribution to the ecological crisis.

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