S+T+ARTS Prize Africa Jury and Advisors

March 11, 2024

+ S+T+ARTS Prize Africa Jury

All submissions are judged by a Jury who decide on the prize-winning projects.

Andrea Barschdorf-Hager
Andrea Barschdorf-Hager has been serving as CEO of CARE Austria in Vienna since 2009. In this role, she leads the marketing team and oversees program and finance areas, as well as the relief and development work. Andrea also represents CARE Austria in media and politics. CARE is one of the world’s leading development and humanitarian aid agencies, dedicated to fighting poverty and injustice, with a specific focus on the empowerment of women and girls.
Born in Vienna, Andrea began her involvement in development cooperation while studying Ethnology and African Studies at the University of Vienna. She is a respected leader in international cooperation, widely recognized for her insight, commitment, and expertise. Andrea has received several awards and recognitions for her service. Additionally, she is an International Gender Champion and serves as a board member of the institute OIIP (Austrian institute for International Affairs).
Andrea has a special interest and focus on digitalization and artificial intelligence.

Mónica Bello
Mónica Bello is an art historian and curator living in Geneva and Barcelona. Since 2015, she has held the position of Head of Arts at CERN at the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva. In this pivotal role, she provides strategic leadership and oversight for the laboratory’s art initiatives, directing the conception and implementation of the artistic programs, including artistic residencies, art commissions and exhibitions. She is the curator of the Exploring the Unknown at CERN Science Gateway, which recently opened. She curated the Icelandic Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale with the artist Sigurður Guðjónsson; Dark Matters at Science Gallery Melbourne; Quantum/Broken Symmetries, a touring exhibition in six different art centres in Europe and Asia; and guest curator at the prestigious Audemars Piguet Art Commission for Art Basel. Before coming to Geneva, Bello was the Artistic Director of VIDA, Art and Artificial Life Award at Fundación Telefónica, Madrid; and Head of the Department of Education at Laboral Centro de Arte, Gijón.  

Oscar Ekponimo
Oscar is a driven entrepreneur, business visionary and innovator with a passion for leveraging technology to create positive change. At just 26 years old, he founded Chowberry Inc., an innovative technology-driven social business in Africa, committed to reducing food waste and enhancing food access for individuals experiencing hunger. The groundbreaking technology has facilitated the distribution of over 1.6 million meals in the past 6 years.
He was named in Time Magazine’s list of 10 Next Generation Leaders, and is a recipient of the Rolex Award for Enterprise from the Rolex Watch Company. For his pioneering effort he was named a Young Pioneer at Harvard Medical by World Frontiers Forum and most recently awarded the Creative Entrepreneur of 2022 by 50 Next at the Basque Culinary Centre.
He established Gallery of Code, Africa’s first multidisciplinary design lab at the nexus of Arts, Science and Technology, in collaboration with Ars Electronica. He is a member of the Advisory Board – Digital Communities to Ars Electronica and has served on multiple juries connected to issues of sustainability and the Food System such as MIT Solve.

Judith Okonkwo
Judith Okonkwo is a Technology Evangelist and Business Psychologist with experience working in Africa, Asia and Europe. She sits on the Board of the European Organisation Design Forum, advises startups, not-for-profits and SMEs on emerging technologies and is a guest lecturer at several HEIs. She is also the creator of the Oriki Coaching Model™ and a co-founder of We Will Lead Africa. Judith is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. 
In 2016 Judith set up Imisi 3D, a creation lab in Lagos focused on building the African ecosystem for extended reality technologies (AR/VR/MR), and connecting XR communities across the continent. The lab provides learning opportunities and access to XR resources for creators and enthusiasts, while supporting engagement and adoption by the wider community, and consulting and content creation for industry. In 2017 she set up AR/VR Africa which holds large XR events on the continent, the most recent – the 2022 AR/VR Africa hackathon – had participants from 42 African countries. In 2021 Imìsí 3D organised the first African Delegation to a global XR event, the African Delegation at Laval Virtual 2021.
Judith is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council for the Metaverse, and a Chen Yidan Visiting Global Fellow at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.

Kathleen Siminyu
Kathleen Siminyu is an AI Researcher who has focused on Natural Language Processing for African Languages. She works at Mozilla Foundation as a Machine Learning Fellow to support the development of Kiswahili Speech Recognition. In her NLP research, Kathleen has previously worked on speech transcription for Luhya languages and contributed to machine translation for Kenyan languages as part of Masakhane. Before joining Mozilla, Kathleen was Regional Coordinator of AI4D Africa, where she worked with ML and AI communities in Africa to run various programs. She has vast experience as a community organiser having co-organised the Nairobi Women in Machine Learning and Data Science community for three years and continues to organise as part of the committees of the Deep Learning Indaba and the Masakhane Research Foundation.  

+ S+T+ARTS Prize Africa Advisors

The advisors are renowned international consultants with expertise in this field. They recommend projects and encourage a wide range of potential participants to submit proposals.

Tegan Bristow
Dr. Tegan Bristow is Director of Education for Diriyah Art Futures, a soon to be opened New Media Art and Art & Technology Centre launched by the Ministry of Culture in Saudi Arabia. Bristow continues to hold a research position at Wits University’s School of Arts, where she formally held the role of Principal Researcher & Senior Lecturer at the Digital Arts Dept. with a specialisation in African Art, Culture and Technology. Bristow additionally acted as Editor in Chief and Digital Editor of the Ellipses Journal for Creative Research in this role.
In 2021 Bristow won the National Science and Technology Forum Award for Sustainable Development in the Creative Industries for her work in co-founding and developing the Fak’ugesi Festival which she directed from 2016 to 2020. Which later led to GIZ supported research mapping landscape of the digital cultural industry in Africa in extension of this development.
Beyond development, research, curation and directing festivals, Bristow is a developer of interactive digital media in installation, interactive-performance screen-based and online media. Exhibiting most recently in 2021 a work titled a ‘School for Vernacular Algorithms’ with the University of African Futures, curated by Oulimata Gueye at Le Lieu Unique in Nantes, France.

Eduardo Cachucho
Eduardo Cachucho is the Creative Director for the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival. He is a programme consultant, artist, and ex-architect. He has worked in digital innovation in the creative sector for over a decade both locally and internationally, believing that digital creative practices are the key to sustainable empowerment in South Africa and across the countries of Africa. 

Letaru Dralega
Letaru Dralega is a Ugandan Jamaican British artist and curator interested in the material/immaterial dichotomy, particularly in African and Afrodiasporic ontologies. She experiments across collage, painting, installation, and sound to examine themes of memory, belonging, and the postcolonial condition.
A social scientist by training she holds a Masters of International Development with African studies (2019) from Sciences Po Paris, France. She co-founded Afropocene Studio Lab, an interdisciplinary research space in Kampala dedicated to exploring the cultural aesthetics and philosophies of science that are borne of the developing intersection of African/Afro-diaspora culture with technology. She co-directs Afropocene: The Capsule, an Independent public art platform established in 2023 to promote experimental, immersive and alternative exhibition formats in Kampala. ​

Femi Johnson
As a digital heritage specialist, Femi Johnson is part of the project at the Museum of West African Art, collaborating with museums like RJM Koln, Oxford Pitt Rivers, Cambridge MAA, and The Swiss Benin Initiative, preserving African heritage through digitization. Beyond that, Femi excels as a filmmaker. His dedication has earned him global recognition, culminating in a fellowship at Basel House of Film, Switzerland. In visual art, talent breaks forth with a GAS Foundation Fellowship as well as works, exhibited internationally from Kunstraum Aarau to AAF Lagos. Femi is a guest lecturer at HFBK Hamburg, exploring ephemerality of the human nature.  
Femi strives to integrate African culture into emerging technology. He believes in leveraging technology to share African stories innovatively, preserving the continent’s vibrant heritage.  

Marcus Neustetter
Marcus Neustetter (1976, Johannesburg) earned his Masters Degree in Fine Arts (2001, Univ. of the Witwatersrand, South Africa). Interested in cross-disciplinary practice, site-specificity, socially engaged interventions at the intersection of art and activism, Neustetter has produced artworks and projects across Africa, Europe, America and Asia. Searching for a balance between poetic form and asking critical questions, his media fluctuates in response to concept and context. Ideas often circle the intersection of art, science and technology in an attempt to find new perspectives on his process.  As artistic director, facilitator, researcher and strategist, he finds himself building opportunities and networks that develop interest beyond his personal artistic practice into seeking alternatively cultural ecosystems through his 23 year collaboration as The Trinity Session. Neustetter is an adjunct professor (Nelson Mandela University) and currently moves between his studios in Johannesburg and Vienna.

Azu Nwagbogu
Azu Nwagbogu is an internationally acclaimed curator, interested in evolving new models of engagement with questions of decolonization, restitution, and repatriation. In his practice, the exhibition becomes an experimental site for reflection, civic engagement, ecology and repatriation – both tangible and symbolic. Nwagbogu is the Founder and Director of African Artists’ Foundation (AAF), a non- profit organisation based in Lagos, Nigeria. He also serves as Founder and Director of LagosPhoto Festival, an annual international arts festival of photography held in Lagos. He is the publisher of Art Base Africa, a virtual space to discover and learn about contemporary art from Africa and its diasporas. In 2021, Nwagbogu was awarded “Curator of Year 2021” by the Royal Photographic Society, UK, and also listed amongst the hundred most influential people in the art world by ArtReview. In 2021, Nwagbogu launched the project “Dig Where You Stand (DWYS) – From Coast to Coast” which offers a new model for institutional building and engagement, with questions of decolonization, restitution and repatriation, the exhibition took place in Ibrahim’s Mahama’s culture hub SCCA in Tamale, Ghana. Most recently in 2023, Nwagbogu was appointed “Explorer at Large” by National Geographic Society to serve as an ambassador for the Organization and receive support to continue his storytelling work across Africa and globally, a title bestowed on a select few global change makers. Nwagbogu’s primary interest is in reinventing the idea of the museum and its role as a civic space for engagement for society at large.

Rosie Olang’ Odhiambo
Rosie Olang’ Odhiambo is a curator, writer, and artist based in Nairobi, Kenya. Her artistic and curatorial approach aims to cultivate generative collaborative processes, centering local context and deep research, all thoughtfully deployed to develop exhibitions, publications, and programming that is accessible, sustainable, ambitious, and liberatory. She is currently exploring workshops, zines, and artists’ books as curatorial formats to play across various disciplines engaging with decolonial, queer, feminist, and black radical traditions. More recently alongside down river road and friends, she has been experimenting with sound art and installation formats.
Rosie has worked in research, editorial, communication, writing, and project management roles with literary, and visual arts organizations in East Africa and the United States and has previously served as Head of Programs at the Nairobi Contemporary Art Institute (NCAI).

Azza Satti
Azza Satti, a creative producer, curator, and social change advocate, passionate about creating experiences that inspire and foster connection. She’s currently the Program Developer for the Rest Residency, a space for Sudanese artists displaced from the war and now based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Formerly the Head of Community Engagement at African Crossroads with Hivos in the Netherlands, Azza played a pivotal role in nurturing a community of thinkers and doers.
She produced the HIVOS funded documentary “Water, Urban Transformation, and African Heritage,” exploring the impact of the LAPSSET corridor project on Lamu Island’s environment and identity in Kenya.
Beyond documentaries, Azza is a founding member of the African Art in Venice Forum, a two-day forum that provides a platform for artists, critics, researchers, academics and others ot meet in the city of Lagoons to discuss topics in African Art.
Empowering creative minds is central to Azza’s work. In 2018, she facilitated the African Crossroads gathering in Marrakech, bringing together 120 creatives, entrepreneurs, and innovators for workshops.
Azza’s decade in NYC includes an M.A. in Art and Public Policy from New York University and a B.A in Media and Film from Hunter College.

Neri Torcello
Neri Torcello is an international art consultant, independent researcher, and writer with a focus on cultural dignity, a concept encompassing those of migration, the right to freedom of artistic expression and creation, and cultural democracy.
He is committed to developing participative and synergistic projects and networks to foster and support the ecosystem for the promotion of the arts from marginalized communities.
He is co-founder of the African Art Dialogues not-for-profit organization in Italy, and founder of the African Art in Venice Forum, a public and free discursive platform presented every two years during the opening week of the Biennale Internazionale dell’Arte di Venezia. He is a columnist for Art-Frame Magazine.

STARTS4AFRICA is funded by the European Union under the STARTS – Science, Technology and Arts initiative of DG CNECT (GA no. LC-01960720). Views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or DG CNECT. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.