A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Sipho Mthathi has been appointed the founding Executive Director of Oxfam South Africa.
Oxfam South Africa will become the first-ever Oxfam affiliate in Africa. Its Board was established in November 2013. Oxfam South Africa will have observer status until 2016 when it will assume full operational responsibility for Oxfam’s work in the country as an independent South African NGO, and formally part of Oxfam’s international confederation.
Ms. Mthathi, who was born in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, has two decades of experience in the human rights and social justice movement in Southern Africa. She was General Secretary of the Treatment Action Campaign, the South Africa Director of Human Rights Watch, the regional advisor at the Coalition of African Lesbians, and most recently Manager for South Africa and Southern Africa programs at Norwegian People’s Aid.
In her last position, Ms. Mthahi worked in support of people and organizations advocating for just distribution of power and resources particularly in the extractives industry. She is also a trustee of the boards of Open Society Institute for Southern Africa, the One in Nine Campaign, and the Women on Farms project.
In announcing the appointment, the chair of Board of Directors of Oxfam South Africa, Mazibuko Jara, said “Sipho is highly regarded in African and global civil society as a decisive, strategic, inspirational and effective leader. We are excited at her appointment.”
The affiliation of Oxfam South Africa is part of Oxfam’s “2020” strategy to build a more influential and representational presence in the south in order to become a more globally balanced organization.
Matt Grainger, tel +44 1865 339 128, m: +44 7730 680 837