Onica N. Makwakwa

Onica N. Makwakwa

Digital Inclusion and Gender Equality Expert

Has 25 years of professional experience in the nonprofit sector where she has served in numerous high level positions with national and international organizations including, Head of Africa at the Alliance for Affordable Internet, an initiative hosted at the World Wide Web Foundation; Head of Office for Africa at Consumers International (South Africa), Executive Director of UNITY: Journalists of Color, Inc. (USA), Director of Development at YWCA USA, Black Women's Health Imperative (USA - formerly the National Black Women's Health Project), and National Low Income Housing Coalition (USA) and International Development Officer for National Council of Negro Women (USA).

As an association executive and professional fundraiser, she is committed to philanthropy and corporate social impact and has been at the frontline and assisted in raising over $50 million for social causes. She has managed and developed multi-million dollar initiatives including, but not limited to, overseeing the largest gathering of journalists of color with an attendance of over 7,500 and a citywide impact of nearly $20 million. Furthermore, has a wide range of experience in advocacy, public policy, political campaign management and international diplomacy. Equally important is her strong sensitivity and unique perspective to the dynamics affecting women, and other disadvantaged populations. A founding member/director of a women's movement and collective that seeks to advance gender equality and dismantle the patriarchal systems that enable gender based violence in South Africa.

A current part-time doctoral student at The University of Illinois in the Education, Policy, Organization and Leadership Program (online). She is also a graduate of The University of Iowa where she earned a Masters degree in Education (International Education, Public Policy and Leadership) and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Women's Studies and Education, she also attended Grinnell College in Iowa. Ms. Makwakwa is a native of Soweto, South Africa; after living in the USA for 23 years, she recently joined the Homecoming Revolution and is now based in South Africa while working throughout Africa.

Specialties: digital development policy, digital inclusion policy, stakeholder engagement in public policy, facilitation of high level stakeholder engagement, meetings and overall executive management, fund development, strategic planning and impact assessment.