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Joseph Munyambanza

Co-Founder, COBURWAS International Youth Organization to Transform Africa


A 25-year-old from the D.R. Congo fled from his home country to Uganda at the age of six due to conflict. With his friends, Munyambanza co-founded the organization COBURWAS International Youth Organization to Transform Africa (CIYOTA) at age 14 to educate refugee youth from Congo, Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda, and Sudan. Munyambanza excelled in his studies in the refugee camp in Uganda and graduated from the African Leadership Academy in 2010. He is a member of the British Council Global Changemaker network and a fellow at the African Leadership Network. Munyambanza is one of 15 young people chosen to serve as advisors on international education to the UN Secretary General. He graduated in biochemistry at Westminster College a MasterCard Foundation Scholar. He is the force behind different new initiatives in innovative education to empower young leaders in the Congo and Uganda. He was recognized along with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia as one of four Global Citizen Award winners of 2013. He was recognized named one of The 99 most influential Foreign Policy Leaders under the age of 33 by the Diplomatic Courier magazine. Munyambanza also awarded the Trailblazer Award by the African Leadership Academy in 2014