Skip to main content
Spotify for Podcasters
Inspiring Open: Amplifying the voices of Africa's inspiring women

Inspiring Open: Amplifying the voices of Africa's inspiring women

By Wiki Loves Women

Inspiring Open celebrates successful women whose work and personal approach intersect with the Open movement. Every day, these dynamic women push the boundaries of expectations using alternative practices to build inclusive communities and succeed as thriving collectives. Inspiring Open amplifies their voices, revealing their personal journey through conversation with host, Betty Kankam-Boadu.

Inspiring Open raises the global visibility of diverse women who are redefining Africa. Be inspired, be challenged, be bold! Brought to you by Wiki Loves Women (a Wiki In Africa project).
Available on
Apple Podcasts Logo
Castbox Logo
Google Podcasts Logo
Overcast Logo
Pocket Casts Logo
RadioPublic Logo
Spotify Logo
Currently playing episode

Hilda Twongyeirwe

Inspiring Open: Amplifying the voices of Africa's inspiring womenOct 10, 2022

Hilda Twongyeirwe
Oct 10, 202242:13
Mulenga Kapwepwe

Mulenga Kapwepwe

Keeping History and African Proverbs Alive – Mulenga Kapwepwe

Mulenga Kapwepwe is an award-winning author and playwright. Mukenga’s creativity was encouraged by her father, former vice president of Zambia, Simon Kapwepwe who was an author himself. She began writing her own plays early on in her career with a lack of formal theatre education. Mulenga’s passion is preserving the history and culture of her people. 

In 2016, she co-founded the Zambian Museum of women’s history, an initiative to spotlight Zambian women who have contributed to the country’s traditional and contemporary history. She believes African proverbs are life hacks, and so should be preserved and passed on to generations. Mulenga sits on many boards and chairs many art and literary institutions in Zambia. She also owns a football academy for women, some of whom have gone on to play for the Zambian women’s football team.

Oct 04, 202251:18
Prof. Jane-Frances Obiageli Agbu

Prof. Jane-Frances Obiageli Agbu

"The best thing in life is the air we breathe and is so open, it is cheap, it is free. It is there for everyone. And that is why we are surviving God in all His wisdom. Give us that. Okay, so why are we so myopic and narrow minded?" Nigerian Professor Agbu is a laureate of the Institute of Open Leadership and holds an International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) Chair in OER and is a board member of Open Education Global.  Prof Jane-Frances describes herself as a therapist who uses an open ethos to heal the world around her. Her need to be open in her work is rooted in the love and guidance she received from her mother and people in her life she describes as her significant others. She strives to pass this love on, making the lives of others better in multiple and important ways. Prof Jane-Frances has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from University of Lagos. Her journey towards open education started in 2006 when she joined the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). She rose through the ranks and earned her professorship. She is a laureate of Institute of Open Leadership, holds an International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) and a Board member of Directors, Open Education Global. In October 2021, she joined the Commonwealth of Learning as Adviser: Higher Education. Despite her many accomplishments, it was only when COVID-19 changed learning in traditional universities, did her colleagues in the Nigeria Psychology Association begin to understand the value of open education.  After years of cynically referring to her as “that lady from that Open University” at conferences, they suddenly took note of the groundwork she laid for them and the name Prof Jane-Frances became one all turned to for assistance.  This is her story, and it is one filled with light, love and laughter.


🔬  Check out previous episodes:

💬  Stay connected with us!

  • Twitter:
  • Facebook:
  • Instagram:
  • Website:

Your host is Betty Kankam-Boadu. Inspiring Open from Wiki Loves Women is powered by the Wiki In Africa’s team. Subscribe to be part of the Wikimedia community and understand how Wikipedia and her Sister projects can solve some of our more pressing issues.

Find out more about Inspiring Open here:

👀  Watch and 👐  share the intro video:

Music: High Funk by Crowander ( CC-BY-NC 4.0.


open, nigeria, university, children, psychologist, psychology, people, women, student, BSC programme, friends, life, mother, understand, education, support, learn, person, world

Sep 12, 202254:51
Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah

Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah

Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah – Inviting Pleasure into Your Life

Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah is an advocate for African women’s sexuality and sexual pleasure. She is a writer working across genres, including creative nonfiction, short stories and essays. She is the author of The Sex Lives of African Women, a book which celebrates African women’s journey towards sexual liberation. Nana is the co-founder of Adventures From The Bedrooms Of African Women, an award-winning website, podcast and festival that publishes and creates content that tells stories of African women’s experiences around sex, sexualities and pleasure. Her short stories have been published in It Wasn’t Exactly Love, and The Ports And Other Stories, The Guardian, Open Democracy and Essence have published articles and opinion editorials. Nana is a huge advocate of pleasure and wants everybody to open up to pleasurable experiences.

Sep 01, 202242:26
Emna Mizouni

Emna Mizouni

Where history meets technology: the importance of Heritage and Digital Citizenship

After the 2011 Arab spring in Tunisia, Emna Mizouni and her team realised that there was little to no information about the rich culture and heritage of their country, and that needed fixing.

Emna’s love for technology, history and monuments is what birthed Carthagina, an organisation that works to document Tunisian history and heritage for future generations, as well as promote that rich Tunisian culture worldwide.

She is also the co-founder of Digital Citizenship, an initiative and consultancy for the digital inclusion of women and girls. Emna is an advocate for open culture and open knowledge, a community leader in the Wikimedia Movement globally.

She is well known for her contributions to several international entities focusing on human rights and technology, and we are honoured to have her as a guest on Inspiring Open.

Aug 15, 202252:11
Nana Ama Agyemang Asante

Nana Ama Agyemang Asante

The Price of Speaking Truth to Power – Nana Ama Agyemang Asante

Nana Ama Agyemang Asante was once the most abused female public figure in Ghana. As a journalist covering politics, gender and business, Nana Ama has been speaking truth to power and holding governments accountable for years. She has provided the much-needed feminist perspective on national issues and debates on radio. Even though she loves what she does, her high profile and feminist views have opened her up to incessant abuse and made her one of the most targeted female radio hosts in Ghana. That’s not stopped her from using her platforms to fight for the oppressed. Nana Ama is a fellow at the Reuters Institute of Journalism at the University of Oxford and the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington DC. Her most recent work was the Ghanaian Women Expert project, which tracked the number of women experts interviewed in Ghanaian media.

Aug 03, 202201:00:22
Lola Shoneyin

Lola Shoneyin

The Fearless Life of a Tireless Creator Our guest on Inspiring Open this week is Lola Shoneyin. Lola didn’t see writing as a special skill growing up-she thought everybody could write and so she started to write. Fast-forward, Lola is now an award-winning author and poet. Some of her works include three books of poems, three children books and her highly acclaimed novel ‘The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives’ which was nominated for the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2011 and went on to win the PEN Awards. In 2020, it was announced that the book was to be a Netflix production. She is the founder of Book Buzz Foundation, organisers of the Aké Arts & Book Festival, one of the most important literary festivals on the African continent.
Jul 18, 202201:00:31
Helen Turvey

Helen Turvey

Administrative Justice as a Tool for Change – Helen Turvey

This week on Inspiring Open we have Helen Turvey – CEO of the Shuttleworth Foundation, a small social investor that provides funding to dynamic leaders who are leading social change. Helen vacationed in South Africa and, like many others, fell in love with the country and its people. This love affair led to her working with the Shuttleworth Foundation for two decades. 

She has a truly internationalist perspective and has developed the Foundation from a South African residential programme to one that encompasses dozens of lifelong fellows from the West to the Middle East. Helen has moved the Foundation from traditional funding methods towards a fellowship model of co-investment and collaboration with potential leaders of change. Her 20 years of experience working with international NGOs and agencies has given Helen a deep-rooted understanding of where philanthropy goes wrong and how it needs to change. She is a big advocate of openness and administrative justice as integral tools to democratise philanthropy and improve education and economies everywhere in the world.

Jul 04, 202256:34
Elizabeth Oyange

Elizabeth Oyange

Our guest in episode 8 is Elizabeth Oyange, a Kenyan intellectual property specialist.  Advocating Open Access Through IP Law

Elizabeth's path into the world of intellectual property (IP) began when she unexpectedly landed a job with the BBC in London working with the Global Brands and Licensing Department. She later returned to. her home country Kenya to train to be a lawyer, but still effortlessly gravitated towards IP, specialising in copyright law. She is passionate about intellectual property’s intersection with traditional knowledge, culture and technology. She is currently the Copyright Specialist at Aga Khan University Global, East Africa where she oversees the university copyright matters, intellectual property training and consultation. Elizabeth is also a certified patent agent.

Jun 20, 202234:56
Esra’a El Shafei

Esra’a El Shafei

Creating Platforms for Marginalised Voices: Esra’a El Shafei
When Esra’a El Shafei was a teenager in Bahrain, she saw a migrant being mistreated. The moment was a shift for her, and she felt compelled to do something to help change the plight of migrants in the Gulf. Esra’a has spent her life building platforms for digital advocacy that amplify under-reported and marginalised voices in the Middle East and North Africa. Her work includes Mideast Tunes, a web and mobile application for independent musicians in the MENA region who use music as a tool for social justice advocacy,, a discussion tool for Arab LGBTQ+ youth which leverages game mechanics to protect and engage its community, and, the primary resource on the plight of migrant workers in the Gulf region. Esra’a has shown sheer bravery and resilience when it comes to promoting human rights and we are honoured to have her as a guest on Inspiring Open.
Jun 06, 202256:31
Islam Elbeiti

Islam Elbeiti

In Episode 6, Betty chats to Islam Elbeiti, a renowned Sudanese cultural curator and bass player. Her journey to music creation began when her auntie gave her a guitar. As one of the few women who plays the bass guitar in Africa, Islam had to defy the odds to prove she belonged in this field. Beyond music, Islam is a member of the Pan-African Innovation for Policy Foundation, supporting start-ups across Africa with process development, research and pushing for reforms in start-up law. 

She is a co-founder of the Sudanese Innovative Music Association. Her work has been featured on NPR, Yamaha, CNN, Public Radio International, The Mosaic Rooms, Voice of America, 500 Words Magazine, and Action Music Women.

May 25, 202246:58
Angela Lungati

Angela Lungati

Angela Lungati's interest in technology started when as a little girl she would play with her father’s computer. Now, that interest has evolved into a passion for building and using appropriate technology tools to impact the lives of marginalised people. She has over 10 years of experience in software development, global community engagement, and non-profit organisational management. 

She is the executive director at Ushahidi, a global non-profit tech company that helps communities quickly collect and share information that enables them to raise voices, inform decisions and influence change. Angela sits on the Creative Commons Board of Directors and is also a co-founder of AkiraChix, a non-profit organisation that nurtures generations of women who use technology to develop innovations and solutions for Africa.

May 09, 202247:13
Dr. Nkem Osuigwe
Apr 25, 202252:14
Maha Bali
Apr 11, 202252:44
Maryana Iskander

Maryana Iskander

Our second podcast features Maryana Iskander. After over half a decade of working with Planned Parenthood as their Chief Operating Officer, she fell in love and made the jump from the United States to the southernmost tip of Africa.

Even though this love affair didn’t last, her love affair with South Africa did, and it ushered her into a career path that saw her working on solving the problems of youth unemployment in Africa, to her current position, leading the Wikimedia Foundation.

Prior to Wikimedia, she spent ten years as the CEO of Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, a non-profit social enterprise focused on building African solutions to tackle the global crisis of youth unemployment. Under her leadership, Harambee received the prestigious Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2019 for its model to support millions of South African youth with access to learning and earning opportunities.

Maryana has dedicated her career to breaking down systemic barriers to access to opportunity and education. She has a proven track record for scaling complex organizations through collaborative solution-building and community empowerment. She spent more than half a decade as the Chief Operating Officer of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She was also the Advisor to the President of Rice University, an associate at the global consulting firm McKinsey & Company, and a law clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Mar 28, 202246:14
Anie Akpe

Anie Akpe

Inspiring Open launches with its very first episode focused on Anie Akpe, the founder of African Women in Tech.

Anie started her business for the same reason many entrepreneurs do – to solve a problem that impacted her firsthand. Through her work as vice president of mortgages and operations, managing a $1.5 billion dollar real estate portfolio which included Loss Mitigation and Mortgage Servicing,  Anie realised people asked her a lot of questions about business, but little to none about technology.

It was then that she birthed her idea of teaching African women in the diaspora, and later in Africa, how to leverage technology and business to succeed in the world today.

She has more than 25 years of combined experience in her chosen fields and we are pleased to have her as our guest today.

Mar 08, 202201:01:26
Inspiring Open teaser

Inspiring Open teaser

A sample teaser for Inspiring Open

Feb 22, 202201:04