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Scholar, child rights expert Dr Judith Oloo named 2021 French African Young Leader

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Dr Judith Oloo says she will apply the experience gained during the training to improve economic, social and cultural rights outcomes for women and girls, for a fair society. [Courtesy]

East African Centre for Human Rights (EACHRights) chief executive and senior lecturer Dr Judith Oloo has been selected to be one of the 100 laureates of the French African Young Leaders Programme, 2021 edition.

Dr Oloo, a lecturer at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) School of Law, is the only one selected from East Africa in the education category, and one of the four Kenyans overall selected to join the leadership training programme.

The other three Kenyans named in the French African Foundation list are in Finance, Media and Entertainment and Public Affairs categories, respectively.

Speaking to The Standard on July 9 following her selection, Dr Oloo said she was elated to make the top 100 out of over 3000 applicants.

“I am humbled to be one of the 100 answers and a French-African Leadership Laureates (2021). I look forward to fellowshipping with colleagues, interacting with great world leaders, networking,” She said.

The child rights crusader said she will apply the experience gained during the training to improve economic, social and cultural rights outcomes for women and girls, for a fair society.

She said her selection was an encouragement to Kenyan women and urged all women to work hard in their respective fields so that come next edition, their number will increase.

“I call upon more young leaders, especially women can apply for next year’s program. We need to make more room for women at the table of leadership.”

Dr Oloo holds a PhD in International Law and Human Rights Law from St Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT) an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the University of Mysore (UOM) and is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya.

She has a strong background in international human rights and humanitarian law, having been a lecturer and head of the Private Law Department at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa before joining JKUAT School of law.

Oloo also headed the Public Law Department at the JKUAT school of law for two terms (4 years) and is currently the CEO for the EACHRights a regional non-governmental human rights organisation based in Nairobi, whose work revolves around children’ rights, particularly the right to education and child protection.

Sessions’ kick-off

The list of those selected was published by the French African Foundation on July 5, 2021.

According to the foundation, the two-week sessions slated for Dakar, Senegal and France will begin in October.

The 100 will be divided into two groups with one having their session in Dakar, Senegal and in France.

“Together they will strive to answer France and Africa’s vital questions and explore the resilience of the two regions’ ecosystem.”

Other major issues to be dealt with during the two sessions include France and Africa’s economies, health systems and civil societies’ response to Covid-19

The French African Young Leaders Programme selects 100 most promising and high-potential talents between 28 and 40 within France and the African economic, political, academic, social and cultural ecosystem for leadership training and networking in France and Africa.

The 100 young leaders will meet with major stakeholders from corporations, SMEs, mid-level businesses, start-ups, and members of key associations and institutions in France and Africa to explore answers to France’s and Africa’s biggest questions of the day.

The Young Leaders programme offers a great opportunity for the laureates to shape the contours of tomorrow’s world through the advancement of leadership, management and diplomacy skills within the theme of resilience.

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