Following a rigorous selection process, Dr Denis Chopera, Programme Executive Manager of the Sub-Saharan African Network for TB/HIV Research Excellence (SANTHE), based in Durban, South Africa, has been selected as an Aspen New Voices Fellow. The Aspen Institute announced the 2018 class of this ground-breaking programme on Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018. It is designed to ensure experts from the developing world have a voice in the global development discussion.
“I am so excited to join fellow global development experts from the developing world,” said Chopera. “What a great opportunity to contribute to dialogue on development issues affecting the African continent!”
Originally from Zimbabwe and now working from SANTHE’s lead institute – the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) – Chopera is responsible for the implementation of the SANTHE programme objectives and strategic management, which aim to provide a platform for promising African scientists to realise their goals of contributing to solving Africa’s health challenges. Having lost four siblings to AIDS while growing up, his goal is to make a positive impact in solving Africa’s health challenges. He believes strongly that HIV and TB research capacity building in Africa constitutes sustainable development on the continent and will go a long way in enabling Africans to contribute to solving their health challenges.
The 20 new Fellows are leading public health specialists, doctors, scientists, activists, social entrepreneurs, policy experts, researchers, and economists, and come from 12 countries across Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
“Across the world, local experts and local communities are taking charge of their own futures,” said Andrew Quinn, New Voices Fellowship Director. “These are the voices we should be listening for when we listen to the story of global development – because these are the voices that show the way forward on humanity’s greatest challenges, including infectious disease, food security, good governance and climate change.”
During the programme’s first five years, New Voices Fellows, who are accepted by nomination only, were featured over 2000 times in media outlets and delivered numerous TED and TEDx talks. Under a training partnership with The Moth, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling, New Voices Fellows have told their stories to live US audiences and through radio and podcast syndications.
Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Open Societies Foundation, the New Voices Fellowship was established in 2013 to bring the essential perspectives of development experts from Africa and other parts of the developing world into the global development conversation. The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organisation. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The US institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners.