Staff

Gaye Sowe

Executive Director (The Gambia)

LLM (University of Essex’s), LLB (Honours) (Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife), , BL (Nigerian Law School)

Prior to joining IHRDA, Gaye worked with the Gambia Judiciary as a Principal Magistrate and Acting Judicial Secretary and served as a Lecturer of Criminal Procedure at the Gambia Law School. He is currently an Adjunct Lecturer of Criminal Law at the University of The Gambia, an Expert Member of the ECOSOC Working Group of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights; a member of the Constitutional Review Commission of The Gambia, and a member of a team of three lawyers currently reviewing and redrafting the criminal justice laws of The Gambia. At IHRDA, Gaye has risen from the ranks of Legal Officer, Senior Legal Officer to Director of Programs, and has spent more than twelve years in IHRDA. He possess a great wealth of experience in litigation, capacity building and advocacy at domestic and regional levels.

Edmund Foley

Director of Programs

LLM (University of Pretoria), LLB (University of Ghana)

Prior to joining IHRDA, Edmund served as a Lecturer of jurisprudence, ECOWAS, criminal, and human rights law. He also served as Project Coordinator for the Ghana Police Accountability Project of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, a researcher at the Constitutional Court of South Africa and a Technical Advisor on Children at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in Ghana.

Edmund had previously worked at IHRDA from 2007 to 2011 as a Legal Officer, and took the lead on the Nubian children’s case which was the first case to be decided on the merits by the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. Edmund has also published several articles on human rights and legal issues.

Amie Njie

Director of Finance and Administration (The Gambia)

MSc in International Accounting and Finance (Liverpool John Moores University)

Prior to joining IHRDA, Amie worked with the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority from 1996 and rose through the ranks to the position of Director of Internal Audit.

She is a dedicated and result-oriented person with a wealth of experience in the Accounting/Auditing profession.

Eric Bizimana

Senior Legal Officer (Burundi)

LLM - Human Rights and Democratization in Africa (University of Pretoria) LLB (University of Burundi).

Eric is a member of the Burundi Bar Association. Prior to joining IHRDA he served as a Legal Assistant at the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and was a teacher of law, and a collaborator with Avocats Sans Frontières. At IHRDA, Eric has worked on many cases, some of which are pace-setter in the African human rights jurisprudence. Eric litigated the first case in which the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights made pronouncement on the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa (the Maputo Protocol) - that is, the Mali Personal Status and Family Code case, wherein the Court found the code to be inconsistent with the Maputo Protocol and other relevant treaties ratified by Mali. Eric brings with him broad experience in litigation, legal research and legal drafting.

Oludayo Fagbemi

Senior Legal Officer (Nigeria)

LLM, (University College London), LLB (Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife), BL (Nigeria Law School)

Prior to joining IHRDA, Oludayo has had stints working with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights (INTERIGHTS). He has also worked in private law practice in Nigeria at the Law offices of Adesanya and Akisanya, and R. A. Ogunwole SAN and Co. Prior to joining the IHRDA in February 2015, he was with the Rivers State Ministry of Justice in Nigeria.

Désiré Bigirimana

Legal Officer (Burundi)

LLM (University of Dar es Salaam), LLB (Université Lumière de Bujumbura), B.A in English Language and Literature (Université du Burundi).

Désiré is a member of the Burundi Bar Association. Prior to joining IHRDA, he served as a Legal Advisor in the Ministry for Local Development in Burundi, as a Legal Assistant at the East African Court of Justice in Arusha/Tanzania; and has an Associate and Co-advocate at Rubeya. He also served as a Lecturer at Université du Burundi, Université Lumière de Bujumbura and Université du Lac Tanganyika. At IHRDA, Désiré has played a focal role in providing legal support to the Transitional Process in The Gambia and in drafting arguments for the IHRDA & Anor. v DRC (700/18) case. He brings with him an experience in litigation, training and drafting legal documents.

Kheloud Ali

Legal Officer (Egypt)

LLB (Ain Shams University, Egypt)

Prior to joining IHRDA, Kheloud had worked with Nazra for Feminist Studies as a Program Coordinator, and as a Legal Researcher and archivist at the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP) at the American University, Cairo, Egypt. She has also worked as a legal trainer in the Wesal Project led by UN Women and Care International in Egypt. She is a member of Women Living under Muslim Laws Network and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies Alumni Club. She has nine years’ experience working as a feminist legal researcher and translator, and has also contributed to the formulation of training manuals on gender and human rights education in the MENA region; and has written articles on women in politics, discrimination against women in the workplace, gender inequality in the Egyptian legal system and several gender issues published on several online media platforms.

Djeugoue Brice Martial

Grants, Publications and Communications Manager (Cameroon)

Master in Media and Communications (Global Media)

Brice worked for 9 years as Head of Communications and Programs at Centre for Assistance to Justice and Animation for Development (CAJAD, Cameroon), before joining IHRDA. He has a wealth of experience in communication, project grants and program management within the context of human rights and development.

Fatmata Jangana

Finance and Administrative Officer (The Gambia)

BSC in Accounting (North Carolina State University)

Prior to joining IHRDA, she worked as a Project Accountant at GIEPA and an Auditor at DT

She’s a seasoned Accountant with experience in both private and public sector accounting. Associates.

Modou Sowe

Finance and Administration Clerk (The Gambia)

IT Foundation Certificate (West African Educational Trust), Diploma in Information Processing (Gambia Technical Training Institute - GTTI)

Prior to joining IHRDA, Modou worked at Emkay Stores. At IHRDA, he handles the day-to-day financial transactions and acts as a liaison with our service providers. He also assists the staff with filing and coordinates the security of IHRDA premises.

Penda Sowe

Receptionist / Records Clerk (The Gambia)

Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Banking and Finance (Management and Development Institute)

Prior to this position, Penda served for about 2 years as Finance and Admin Fellow at IHRDA.

Cheikh Omar Bassene

Messenger/Cleaner (Senegal)

Cheikh (fondly pronounced as an elongated ‘sheeeee’), personifies patience at IHRDA. Adept at working the bureaucracy of many offices, Cheikh weathers through the drudgery of long queues and frustration of bureaucracy to ensure IHRDA’s written communications reach appropriate desks in Banjul.

For a first time visitor or new staff, Cheikh’s bright smile and endearing helpfulness will welcome you at Yundum Airport. Together with Fatou and Tamba, Cheikh forms an important part of our institutional memory.Cheikh speaks French, English and some Spanish.

Tamba Conteh

Office Attendant/Cleaner (The Gambia)

Having joined Alpha and Julia in 1997, Tamba is currently the longest serving staff member, even predating the formal founding of IHRDA. Tamba serves as messenger and maintains our alternative power systems, and keeps our documentation centre clean and tidy. Tamba is an innovative support staff member and was instrumental in the building and follow-up of two of IHRDA’s cases, 249/02 IHRDA (on behalf of Sierra Leonean refugees in Guinea) v Guinea and 292/04 IHRDA (on behalf of Esmaila Connateh and 13 others) v Angola. Tamba speaks an astounding 7 languages: English, his native Sarahule, Wollof, Mandinka, Jola, Fula and Bambara.

Fatou Faye

Cleaner and Cook (The Gambia)

Fatou has been instrumental in keeping IHRDA clean and comfortable. She is the main architect behind one of IHRDA’s most cherished traditions: the 11:00AM break at the Bantaba (traditional Gambian gazebo). Fondly called Aunty Fatou, she keeps a healthy dose of coffee and tea available for staff and visitors at IHRDA.

Sukuta Manneh

Gardener (The Gambia)

General Agriculture (Gambia Technical Training Institute)

Prior to joining IHRDA, Sukuta worked with Radville Farms for 11 years. At IHRDA, Sukuta is responsible for the landscaping of the Office premises by creating a more peaceful and fresh surrounding that brings out the unique beauty of nature, and the core essence it plays in human development. Sukuta knows his plant varieties by name, sight, texture and optimal seasons and serves as compound overseer.

Maria Saine

Legal Fellow (Gambia)

LLB (University of The Gambia), MA Laws (Trinity College, Dublin)

Prior to joining IHRDA, Maria served as Programmes Manager for “Safe Hands for Girls” in The Gambia, an organization that works on the elimination of Female Genital Mutilation, she has a developing expertise in human rights law and constitutional law. and a growing portfolio of skills and experience covering domestic human rights issues such as Child Marriage. She currently serves as an Adjunct Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of The Gambia. At IHRDA, Maria assists in preparing documentation on the EU Project on Enforced Disappearances and Extrajudicial killings in The Gambia.

Gabriel Bangura

Communication & Legal Fellow (Sierra Leone)

LLB (UTG)

Prior to joining IHRDA, Gabriel represented the University of The Gambia in an Inter-Universities Speech contest in Ghana, and at the 24th All-African Human Rights Moot Court Competition in Zambia. He also served as Team Coach for The Gambia at the 25th All-African Human Rights Moot Court Competition in South Africa. At IHRDA, Gabriel has worked extensively on preparing texts and documentation for the African Human Rights Caselaw Analyser and also maintaining IHRDA's website and social media platforms. He has a great wealth of experience and skills in photography and audio/visual editing.

Bernice Asante

Publications and Communications Intern (Ghana and Rwanda)

Final Year, BA, Comm (Grand Canyon University, US)

Bernice is a final-year student at the Grand Canyon University in Arizona, United States pursuing a bachelor’s degree in communications, with plans to enroll into law school. Prior to joining IHRDA, Bernice was one of the photographers and graphic design students in her high school’s media team that created the school’s magazines and yearbook. She also previously participated in the annual Model United Nations simulation, and later co-founded a Model United Nations group franchise at the Dakar Academy School. At IHRDA, she assists in preparing documentation for the Sexual-and-Gender-Based Violence Database