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Local Democracy Talk: The Future We Imagine

november 17, 2022 , kl. 17:00 19:00

This Local Democracy Talk aimed to create a constructive dialogue and exchange experiences among policymakers, researchers and civil society to strengthen community engagement – the foundation of participatory democracy. The topic was community-based research for democratic policy transformation: what are communities’ vision of the future they want and how can researchers and local governments work to make change happen?

The event concluded a training in democratic research methods (Community-Based Participatory Research), with screening of the participants’ final joint product and ensuing panel discussion. The event was a cross-pollination of insights with members of civil society and political representatives, with the purpose to move from knowledge to impact and engage in dialogue with agents of change.


  • Lusungu Kayani, PhD Candidate University of Victoria
  • Mwemezi Rwiza, Director of the UNESCO K4C hub in Arusha
  • Kennedy Afisa, Worldshare Tanzania (Youth representative Restless Development)
  • Dr. Judy Makira, Coordinator Muranga Municipality
  • Anna Henga, Legal and Human Rights Centre (TBC)

Moderator: Dr. Crystal Tremblay, University of Victoria

This event is hosted by the Embassy of Sweden to Tanzania.

Bios of panelists:

Lusungu Kayani

Lusungu Kayani was born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and grew up in the U.S. She received a Master’s in Urban Planning from New York University where she was a David Bohnett Fellow in Public Service. Prior to this, Lusungu studied International Affairs at Columbia University. As an urban planner and international development practitioner, Lusungu has experience working with city and local governments in Africa, Asia and Latin America. She served as an advisor with international organizations such as the United Nations Center for Human Settlements (UN-Habitat), Vital Strategies, UNICEF and most recently, with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. Her work focuses on the role cities play in ensuring an equitable and sustainable future for our planet, especially through the lens of health and well-being. In recent projects, she has worked to better understand how urban environments specifically support the health and development of children and adolescents.

Lusungu’s research interests are focused on the role the informal sector plays in the circular economy, particularly how central the sector is to the development of long-term strategies and roadmaps in rapidly urbanizing cities in Africa. She wants to investigate the economic and ecological contributions of the informal sector and document their efforts through her work. She is also passionate about connecting the opportunities for improved health and well-being of youth through innovations in waste management.

Dr. Judy Makira

Dr. Judy Makira is a Murang’a Municipality local government official and a researcher with a PhD in Education. She has also done several short courses on Local Governance and ICT in Education from Israel, Sweden and South Africa. Judy has been a lecturer with several publications under her name. She has been empowering youth and women in her community in education, health, economically and socially through her many grassroots programmes. She is the coordinator of partnership between Muranga Municipality and Upplands-Bro Municipality in Sweden
In 2022 general elections, motivated by ICLD, ITP program of 2021 she ran for Kiharu Member of the National Assembly making her the first woman ever, to vie for this position in Kiharu Constituency, Kenya.

Dr. Mwemezi Rwiza

Dr. Rwiza holds a PhD in Earth Sciences and Environmental Engineering from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), South Korea. He also holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science from Lund University, Sweden. He studied at Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania, for his Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management. Mwemezi works at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) where he lectures and researches in the fields of Water and Wastewater Treatment; Remediation of Mine Sites; Biomaterial Synthesis, Characterization, and Application; Environmental Pollution, Monitoring, Protection and Remediation.

Kenedy Paul Afisa

Kenedy is a graduate of the University of Dar es Salaam, specializing in Project Planning, Implementation, and Management.  He has worked with various civil society organizations such as Restless Development, FHI 360, and Worldshare South Korea, and experienced in project coordination, planning, budgeting, logistics and procurement planning, research, monitoring, and evaluation, reporting on all aspects of the project.His main focus is on improving program delivery and project management. Kenedy is well equipped with advocacy knowledge and experience; knows strategies, protocols, key steps, and actions based on SMART Advocacy in relation to public policy analysis, policy briefs, and research.