Welcome to Stellenbosch University


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Mandrup.jpgNoëlle Van der Waag-Cowling
Cyber Programme Lead ​​​​​

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Noëlle Van der Waag-Cowling is the Cyber Programme Lead at the Security Institute for Governance and Leadership (SIGLA), Stellenbosch University. Her work cuts across both the public and private sectors and has a strong focus on governance, risk and policy and geo-strategic issues in information security Noëlle is passionate about tech innovation in Africa and building cyber capacity on the Continent.

Mr Abdul-Hakeem Ajijola
Panel of Experts


Abdul-Hakeem Ajijola (AhA) is the Chair of the African Union Cyber Security Expert Group and Chair of the Working Group on Cyber Incident Management and Critical Information Protection at the Global Forum for Cyber Expertise (GFCE). A leading professional in the cyber industry he is also ranked #1 on the IFSEC 2020 Global Cybersecurity professionals' influencers and thought leaders list. He serves on a number of multi-lateral bodies including as a Commissioner at the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace (GCSC) and as a resource to the United Nations Office on Disarmament Affairs (UNODA). Mr Ajijola also serves on numerous Nigerian cyber security related bodies that includes government, academia and the private sector.​

Dr Jabu Mtsweni
Research Fellow

Jabu Mtsweni is Head of Information and Cyber Security Centre at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), an NRF-Rated Researcher (C2), Certified Cybersecurity Manager, Research Fellow at University of South Africa, Information Warfare Board Member at DoD, and Technical Leader of the National Policy Data Observatory supporting NATJOINTS, NCCC and Inter-Ministerial Committee on Vaccination Programme. His research interests and technical expertise are in digital security, digital transformation, data science, information warfare, cybersecurity, and cybercrimes. Dr Mtsweni has over 19 years of experience combined in research and development, ICT projects implementation, ICT solutions design, development, testing and deployment, strategy development and implementation, technology assessments, software and systems engineering, technical management, research, development and innovation, teaching, training, mentorship, supervision, leadership and management, business development, contract and project management, risk management, technology transfer and commercialization, and overall cybersecurity engineering.

He has published over 70 peer-reviewed conference and journal articles with several collaborators.  Dr Mtsweni holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of South Africa.

Research Fellow

Karen Allen (Karen Allen International)


Karen has a Masters' degree in International Relations and Contemporary War from King's College London where she is a Visiting Fellow in the War Studies Department.  She has a broad interest in geopolitics, human security and emerging technology and has undertaken research on influence operations/disinformation online and its impact on democracy in Africa. Her next project will focus on the use and extent of AI generated media by influence actors. Karen has also completed research on digital diplomacy and cybercrime in Africa.

She has an interest in the use of UAS/drone technology by violent non-state actors – an evolving area of study which increasingly is gaining international attention. Karen is an independent consultant working for a number of organisations including the Institute for Security Studies. Much of her work has been informed by her  previous career. Karen spent more than 25+ years as a foreign news correspondent for the BBC and was based across Africa and the Middle East.

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​Associate Professor Brett v​an Niekerk (Durban University of Technology)
Cyber security (Maritime)

​Brett van Niekerk (PhD) is an Associate Professor in IT at the Durban University of Technology. He is NRF-rated and serves as chair for the International Federation of Information Processing (IFIP) Working Group 9.10 on ICT Uses in Peace and War, the co-Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Cyber Warfare and Terrorism, associate editor for the International Journal of Information Security and Privacy, and on the international advisory board for the Journal of Information Warfare. He has participated in working groups for the Paris Call on Trust and Security in Cyberspace, the European Cyber Agora, the international research advisory group for the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace, and has contributed to the ISO/IEC information security standards. In 2012 he graduated with his PhD focusing on information operations, information security and critical infrastructure protection. He is a Certified Information Security Manager, and an early adopter of the new South African Information Security Management Professional designation.

Dr Nate Allen
Research Fellow

Dr. Nathaniel Allen is an Assistant Professor for Security Studies, responsible for overseeing the Africa Center's academic programming on cybersecurity and peace support operations and integrating these considerations into the Center's research and outreach. His work focuses on cyber issues, emerging technology, civil-military relations, and regional security partnerships across Africa.

Prior to the joining the Africa Center, Dr. Allen was a policy advisor at the U.S. Institute of Peace Task Force on Extremism in Fragile States. He has also worked at the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, for the Foreign Affairs and the Armed Services Committees of the U.S. House of Representatives, and with NORC at the University of Chicago's International Projects Department. Dr. Allen's research has been published in leading policy journals and newspapers. Dr. Allen holds a Ph.D. in international relations and African studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.​

Professor S. Bachmann (University of Canberra)
Reseach Fellow

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Prof Bachmann is an international scholar, former Lieutenant Colonel (GER A Res)- with operational experience in the Balkans and as exchange officer with the US Marines and a career professional in law and higher education. In the last 20 years he worked in various capacities and functions in the USA, the Middle East, South Africa and various European countries. 

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Dr Susan Henrico
Panel of E​xperts​


Susan Henrico is a senior lecturer in Defence Intelligence Studies at the Department of Strategic Studies, Faculty of Military Science, Stellenbosch University. She is registered as a GISc professional with the South African Geomatics Council (SAGC) and has over 18 years’ experience in the geospatial intelligence field. Amongst others, her research involves studies about Free and Open Source GIS (FOSSGIS) and she is also the co-chair for the UN Open GIS (Capacity building) workgroup.​​

Christopher John Myers
Panel of Experts​


Christopher Myers is the Chief Operating Officer and Founding Partner of an international consulting and advisory company based in the United Arabic Emirates. He supports international clients in Africa, the Middle East, United Kingdom, western and eastern Europe.​

Alice Namuly Blazevic (Uganda Legal Tech Network)​
Panel of Experts


Alice Namuli Blazevic is a Partner at Katende, Ssempebwa & Company Advocates. She has over 15 years' experience in Commercial and Corporate Transactions, specialising in Projects and Infrastructure Finance, PPP's and the Energy Sector. 

Tendai Marengereke (Harare Institute of Technology)
Panel of Experts


Tendai Marengereke is a Lecturer for Information Security and Assurance at the Harare Institute of Technology in Zimbabwe. He holds a Master of Technology (M.Tech) in Information Security and Cyber Forensics from SRM University, India. 


Tomslin Samme-Nlar
Panel of Experts

​Tomslin Samme-Nlar is an engineer and independent researcher interested in the higher level management aspects of issues where cyber security and strategy interact in Africa. He is a co-founder and research director at Gefona Digital Foundation, a not-for-profit digital policy research organization in Cameroon, the vice-chair of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) GNSO Council and the policy chair of the Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG) at ICANN. Tomslin also contributes as a researcher to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace's Technology and International Affairs Program. He holds a Master of Cyber Security, Strategy and Diplomacy from UNSW Canberra at Australian Defence Force Academy, a Graduate Certificate in Diplomatic Theory and Practice from DiploFoundation, a Certificate in International Humanitarian law in Theory and Practice from Leiden University and a Bsc. (Hons) in  Technology Management and Computing from the University of Portsmouth, UK.​​