Cesnabmihilo Dorothy Aken’Ova, Nigeria
Dorothy is a feminist and a sexual rights activist. She is the founder and Executive Director of International Center Reproductive SE.
Dorothy designs and manages community projects targeting young people, women, especially women governed by shari’a laws, and other sexual minorities using the Behavioural Change Communication towards the acceptance, protection and promotion of Sexual rights and gender equality. She has coordinated national research on sexual diversity and human rights in Nigeria and a situational analysis of the status of sexual health and rights in Nigeria. Dorothy is currently implementing an advocacy project for the protection of the human rights of sexual minorities, and the eradication of discriminatory laws. She coordinates the Coalition for the Defense of Sexual rights in Nigeria under whose auspices the bill prohibiting same sex marriage has been defeated twice. Dorothy is an Ashoka fellow distinguished by her research and response intervention community projects on sexual pleasure in women.
Bakah Aicha, Niger/Mali
Bakah is an ICT professional currently working with the United Nations World Food Program. As an African lesbian living in Niger, she is excited about contributing to QAYN through her lived experiences as well as translation and technical skills. Although she’s been a resource person for years by sharing lesbian and gay- related materials (websites, books, movies, etc.) to fellow African queers, she decided to get involved with QAYN to participate more actively in developing the queer community in West Africa and to help improve access to information for young queer Africans.
Malee, Côte D'ivoire/USA
Malee is a queer Pan-African woman and a professional question-asker. Some of her favorite people to ask questions of are young women, African entrepreneurs and people committed to promoting gender equality and sexual rights. Following her undergraduate education, she worked as an admission counselor for several years, directly helping young people to access a high-quality undergraduate option in the U.S. After completing masters' degrees in public administration and international relations, she moved to Ghana to work as a Project Coordinator with an international development research organization.
While she enjoys asking questions about entrepreneurship and how to measure the impact of development programs, she also wants to ask more questions about sexuality – policy questions and intimate questions. She is particularly interested in issues that exist in the places where sexuality, gender and development interact - connections between sexual pleasure and “empowerment” of women, sex positivity, creating “safe spaces” for LGBTQI Africans, identity development and social networks of same-gender loving women, particularly within communities in Africa and the African Diaspora.
As a researcher and consultant for several non-profits on expansion and planning, she is particularly excited about being involved as the Strategic Planning Advisor for QAYN. She plans to contribute by asking lots of questions to help QAYN focus resources and energy to projects that will ultimately transform the lives of queer African youth.
Aba Taylor, Ghana/USA
As a first-generation Ghanaian Aba Taylor has been involved in HIV/AIDS advocacy, international women’s rights, LGBT and social justice movements for over a decade. Aba received her Bachelor's degree from Columbia University in New York and a Master's degree from the School of International Training. She have lived, worked and traveled in Africa, Europe, Asia, Central America, the Caribbean, and North America and is committed to working with and uplifting communities of African descent. Aba has worked for the United Nations, African Services Committee, Lambda Legal, Liberty Hill Foundation, ACT-UP and a host of other civil rights and social justice organizations dedicated to empowering women, Africans and LGBTQ people. In addition to her career as a non-profit professional, consultant and educator/facilitator/trainer, Aba is an avid supporter of social entrepreneurship and is also a freelance writer, photographer and filmmaker who could not live without art and creative and cultural expression.
Williams Rashidi, Nigeria
Rashidi is the Founding Executive Director of Queer Alliance Nigeria. He is a passionate and visionary advocate for equality for all Nigerians regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. Rashidi was instrumental in the defeat of the same gender marriage bill in 2009, having spoken before the Nigeria Parliament as an open gay man. He designs project which contributes to the well being and advance the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans people in Nigeria. He uses his professional and educational capacity to support the work for equality for sexual minorities in Nigeria. He is a graduate of Science Laboratory Technology from Accra Polytechnic Ghana and is a fellow of the International LGBT and Human Rights Training from the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education.
Charles Gueboguo, Cameroon/USA
Charles Gueboguo is a young African sociologist interested in LGBT issue in Francophone Africa. He is the author of two books in that regards published in France, L'Harmattan: La question homosexuelle en Afrique, le cas du Cameroun (2006) and Sida et homosexualités en Afrique (2009). Also author of several academic publications in the same subject, he received the the IRN-Africa Simon Nkoli Award (2009). In recognition of outstanding contributions in the study of sexuality in Africa. IRN-Africa is an arm of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the City University of New York, and the Fraser Taylor Award of Canadian Association of African Studies/Association Canadienne des Etudes Africaine (2007). For the best communication presented by a graduate student during their 2007 annual meeting.