Team Profile

Solomon A. Dersso

Managing Director

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A leading legal scholar and analyst of peace and security and current African and African Union (AU) affairs, Dr Solomon Ayele Dersso serves as a Commissioner of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the premier human rights body of the AU. Formerly, he worked as Head of the Peace and Security Council Report Program of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) after serving as a senior researcher, which he assumed on joining the ISS in 2008. He was also a research fellow at the South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional Law (SAIFAC). Apart from documenting and publishing on AU policy issues and processes, Dr Dersso has delivered high-level policy briefings and presentations for governmental and inter-governmental representatives and policy-making bodies including the AU Peace and Security Council, IGAD, the Panel of the Wise and the AU High-Level Panel on Egypt. His legal scholarship that covers teaching of human rights and academic and policy research includes non-faculty professorship at the College of Law and Governance, Addis Ababa University. With over hundred publications including four single authored monographs, one edited book, more than two dozen peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters as well as reports and numerous opinion editorials and analysis, Dr Dersso’s expert opinion featured in the works of major media organizations including Mail and Guardian, Times, SABC, Al-Jazeera, Daily Maverick, CGTN, the Guardian, and the BBC. He holds a PhD degree from the School of Law, University of the Witwatersrand, LLM Degree from the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria and LLB from School of Law, Addis Ababa University.

Bitania Tadesse

Program Director

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Bitania Tadesse is a peace and security researcher and policy analyst who focuses on politics, peacebuilding and humanitarian trends in Africa and African Union policies. Before joining Amani Africa, she has worked with various international and Pan-African organisations, including at the Norwegian Refugee Council AU Liaison Office, with the AU Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security and Save the Children International Pan-African Office. She has worked extensively in research and advocacy on women empowerment and gender equality in peace and security; humanitarian and development policies at global and regional levels, primarily focusing on AU led initiatives and programs. Over the years, she has worked closely with various stakeholders including Departments at the AUC, AU policy making Organs, Human Rights Treaty Bodies, with multilateral partners and International Organisations. Bitania received her MSc in African Studies from Oxford University, and she also holds a BA in Political Science and International Relations, and MA in Peace and Security from Addis Ababa University.

Feven Mekonnen

Office Administrator

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Ms. Feven Mekonnen has a MA in Gender and Governance from Ahfad University in Khartoum, Sudan and a BA in Management from University of Mekele, Ethiopia. Ms Mekonnen is currently working as an Office Manager at Amani Africa. Ms. Mekonnen also lectures at one of the private universities in Addis Ababa, Admas University one a part time basis. Ms Mekonnen previously worked at the Center for Accelerated Women’s Economic Empowerment (CAWEE), a membership organization as a Project Manager working on women economic empowerment projects with a focus on the export sector. Ms Mekonnen’s experience includes project development, supervision, implementation and reporting. She is responsible for the administration of the offices and projects of Amani Africa.