Brief biographies of some of the delegates at the Addis Ababa workshop in February 2014.


Dr. Momo K. Rogers, Sr.

Director-General of the Cabinet, Office of the President, Liberia

Dr Rogers has worked as Director-General of the Cabinet from 2009, serving as a liaison between the President and Cabinet Ministers. During this time, he reorganised and improved the Cabinet system and processes, including the introduction of a Cabinet Manual and Cabinet Directory. He is committed to improving the way government makes evidence-based decisions and is supporting the President in improving the performance of the public service sector.

Before returning to Liberia in 2009, Dr Rogers was a journalism educator and media researcher for over 20 years in the United States, where he taught at several U.S. universities, specializing in the print media, media history, and international communication. He has written several journal articles and a book on Liberian journalism. He holds membership in several journalism associations, and is an independent publisher.

Prior to his self-exile in the United States during the Liberian civil war, Dr Rogers rose from the rank of a division head to Deputy Minister for Technical Services within the Liberian Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, managing several major bureaus, including national press, overseas press, and publications. He chaired the ministerial committee that established the New Liberian newspaper in 1978, which is still in existence today. He also served as Assistant Minister for Telecommunications and International Postal Organizations with the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. Before leaving for the United States in 1982 to undertake doctoral studies, Dr Rogers became the first full-time journalism instructor at the University of Liberia, and developed the framework and curriculum for what became the Department of Mass Communication.


Mr Ernest Mavuto Justice Kantchentche

Clerk to the Cabinet

Mr. Ernest Mavuto Justice Kantchentche was born on 3rd January, 1965, in Ntchisi, Malawi. He is married to Salome and has two children. He has Master of Business Administration from Maastricht/ESAMI, 2002, a Post Graduate Certificate in Diplomatic Studies from Oxford University, 1995, and a Bachelor of Social Science Degree from the University of Malawi, 1989.

He has worked for the Malawi Government since November, 1989 and he is currently the Clerk to the Cabinet, a position he has held since 2012.

Previously, Mr Kantchentche has held the following positions: Director of Cabinet Services - Office of the President and Cabinet (June 2008 to December, 2012), Assistant Director of Cabinet Services - Office of the President and Cabinet (March, 2005 to June, 2008), Principal Foreign Service officer - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (January, 2004 to March, 2005), First Secretary (Political) and Head of Chancery - Malawi Embassy, Cairo, Egypt (February, 2000 - January, 2004), First Secretary (Political) - Malawi High Commission Pretoria, Republic of South Africa (April, 1999 – February, 2000), Second Secretary (Political) - Malawi High Commission, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa (April , 1996 - April, 1999), Desk Officer in Political Affairs Department - Ministry of External Affairs (March, 1993 to April, 1996), Administrative Officer in the Department of Media Services and Public Affairs - Office of the President and Cabinet (November, 1989 to March, 1993.

Mr Gift Maynard Makonyola Gondwe

Principal Cabinet Services Officer

Mr. Gift Maynard Makonyola Gondwe was born in 1977 in Rumphi District. He is married to Judith with three children. He went to the University of Malawi to study for adegree in Business Administration. On graduation in 1998 he joined the Malawian civil service income Tax Department of the Ministry of Finance, as Inspector of Taxes. On the dissolution of the Income Tax Department in 2000 he was seconded to the Malawi Revenue Authority as a Senior Revenue Officer. In 2006 he returned to the mainstream civil service to the Ministry of Lands and Urban Development as District Lands Officer for Dowa District Council. In 2010 he was promoted to work in the Office of the President and Cabinet as Assistant Clerk to the Cabinet, the position he is still holding to date.

Sierra Leone

Dr. Ernest Surrur

Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service

Dr Surrur has been a civil servant in Sierra Leone since 1980 holding many senior positions, including Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Presidential Affairs and Director-General of the Human Resource Management Office. He has been Permanent Secretary in the Ministries of Health, Trade and Industry, Transport and Communications and Development and Economic Planning. He has also held a range of senior positions in all districts (provinces).

Dr Surrur was appointed to his current position in March 2013 and has already initiated a review of the procedures of the Cabinet. This is expected to lead to a new Cabinet Manual, replacing one mostly dating back to the 1960s. Priority issues in this review include evidence-based Cabinet Memoranda, more efficient use of Ministers’ time and establishment of an effective system of Cabinet standing committees. He is strengthening the role and capacity of the Cabinet Secretariat, as well as its links with line Ministries.

Combining the roles of Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service provides Dr Surrur with opportunities to improve coordination and implementation of Cabinet decisions, as well as improving the performance of the civil service and the working relationships between Ministers and senior civil servants.

He has a PhD in Public Administration from the Africa Graduate University, Uganda, as well as Bachelor of Education and Master of Public Sector Management degrees.

Dr Surrur is President of Council of African Cabinet Secretaries of the Africa Cabinet Government Network (ACGN).


Hassan A. Madar, MA

Director General, Ministry of Presidential Affairs

For the last three years Mr. Madar has worked as a Director General with the Ministry of the Presidential Affairs. His work includes managing the overall work of the Ministry, responsible for human resources, finance and administration, provides support for the cabinet and the office of the president, and links with the Ministries and other governmental agencies.

From 1996 to 2010 Mr. Madar worked as an Administration and Finance Manager in development and humanitarian aid with International organizations including, Progressio, Action Aid, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), COOPI-Italia, Accion Contra La Faim(ACF) and Swissgroup/Caritas. He wrote several books (in Somali) in human rights literature, and minorities’ issues.

Mr.Madar holds an MA in Peacebuilding from Coventry University, MBA, a BA degree in Accounting and management as well as Diplomas and certificates in election management, and peace and conflict resolution.

South Sudan

Abdon AgawJok Nhial

Secretary General of the Government of South Sudan

Mr Nhial was appointed Secretary General to the Government of Southern Sudan in 2005 and has remained in that position through the birth of South Sudan as an independent nation. He is Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service, playing a major role in the establishment of the National Council of Ministers following independence in July 2011. He was a member of the National Constitution Review Commission and the subsequent Drafting Committee that prepared the Constitution of Southern Sudan in 2005.

He holds a BA (Hons) degree in English and Political Science from the University of Khartoum, as well as a Diploma in Management from the Management Institute in Khartoum. Following work on development projects (such as the FAO Integrated Rural Development Project in the Jonglei Canal Area) he went into exile in 1990 following the coup d’etat that brought Omar el Bashir to power. Between 1990 and 2005 he represented the Southern Sudan umbrella political alliance, Union of Sudan African Parties (USAP) in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) based in Cairo.

He has been widely acclaimed for his efforts in restoring the ‘lost boys’ back to their ancestral land.

In November 2011 Mr Nhial was elected President of the African Association for Public Administration and Management (AAPAM) for a term of three years. He is a Deputy Chairperson of Council of African Cabinet Secretaries.


Vincent OpioLukone

Permanent Secretary/Deputy Secretary to Cabinet

Mr OpioLukone joined the Uganda Public Service in 1980 after graduating from Makerere University in Political Science and Public Administration.

He served in various ministries across Government; from 1991 to 1994he served as the Programme Officer for Policy and Institutional Development at the Uganda Aids Commission, the Commission responsible for spearheading the national efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS. He was subsequently promoted and posted as Under Secretary in the Ministry of Health, responsible for Finance, Human Resource and Corporate Services.

In 1998 he became Permanent Secretary and posted to the Cabinet Secretariat in the Office of the President as Deputy Secretary to Cabinet, the position he has held to-date.

Mr OpioLukone holds an MA in Social Science in Development Administration from the University of Birmingham. He attended the course Post Graduate Studies in Public Policyat the Lyndon Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin. He also attended the School of Public Health, University of Boston.

Over his career he has developed a strong interest in the field of Policy Development and has devoted the last 14 years to improving the appreciation of policy as a core function of Government at the highest level of leadership.


Abdulhamid Yahya Mzee, Ed.D.

Secretary to the Cabinet and Chief Secretary, Zanzibar.

Dr. Abdulhamid Y. Mzee is a teacher by profession and has served in several capacities in the Ministry of Education, Zanzibar including Headmaster of Secondary School (1980 -1981), Head of Secondary Education Division (1981 -1982), Head of Planning Division (1982 – 1985), Director of Planning and Administration (1985-1989) and Principal Secretary (1989 – 2009).

Dr. Mzee was appointed to his current position of the Secretary to the Revolutionary Council (Cabinet) and Chief Secretary of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar in 2009. As a Chief Secretary he is also the Head of Public Service and chairs the Inter Ministerial Technical Commettee (IMTC) composed of all Principal Secretaries and the Deputy Attorney General. The IMTC serves as a technical organ of the cabinet and scrutinises all proposals related to government policies, bills of laws, and other government operations before they are officially submitted to the cabinet. He also coordinates all government reforms.

Dr. Abdulhamid Y. Mzee holds a Bacheleor of Science with Education degree from the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Master of Education in Educational Administration degree from the University of Alberta, Canada; and Doctor of Education (Management and Policy) degree from the University of Bristol, UK.

Guest Speakers

The Honourable Professor Brian Howe

Brian Howe AO was an MP in the Australian Parliament from 1977 to 1996. A Minister from 1983 to 1996 and one of only four Ministers that served in each of the Hawke and Keating governments, serving in mainly social policy related portfolios Social Security, Health and Community Services, Housing and Regional Development. He was a member of Cabinet’s Expenditure Review Committee from 1987 to 1996 and Deputy Prime Minister from 1991-1995. Since leaving politics he has been a Professorial Fellow at Melbourne University’s School of Government researching and teaching social policy. Most recently he has chaired the Advisory Committee of the Australian Institute of Family Studies, chaired an enquiry for the COAG Reform Council on the planning of Australian Cities (2010-2012) and participated in a Federal Government Enquiry on the Economic Participation of Older Australians.

Sierra Leone Liberia Ghana South Sudan Ethiopia Somaliland Uganda Somalia Rwanda Zanzibar Zambia Tanzania Malawi Sierra Leone Liberia Ghana South Sudan Ethiopia Somaliland Uganda Somalia Rwanda Zanzibar Zambia Tanzania Malawi