Welcoming SDI’s Board & Director

by James Tayler

SDI is pleased to announce the appointment of the new Board of Directors and Director of the Secretariat: these are two key milestones in the reform and strengthening of SDI’s governance and operational capacity.

The Board of Directors is chaired by Joseph Muturi, national leader of Muunango wa Wanavijiji, the Kenyan Slum Dweller Federation. The majority of Board members are slum dweller leaders, augmented by independent professionals with expertise in key priority areas. The Board of Directors is comprised of:

Joseph Muturi, Chair

Joseph Muturi is a national community leader of Muungano wa Wanavijiji, the Kenyan Slum Dweller Federation. Since joining the Federation in 1998, Joseph has played a central role in negotiating and implementing projects to strengthen the security of tenure and improved living conditions for urban poor communities in Kenya. Joseph has supported communities to build consensus on strategy, budgeting, planning, and implementation of projects. He has been instrumental in building national federations in East and West Africa and has established partnerships with government and key stakeholders, both for Muungano and the SDI network.

Anna Muller, Treasurer

Dr. Anna Muller is the National Coordinator of the Namibia Housing Action Group, a non-profit organisation supporting women-centred housing groups to obtain affordable land and housing. Anna has served on Namibia’s National Housing Advisory Committee and the Flexible Land Tenure Regulation Committee and has supported a collaborative process between the Federation and the Government to develop a national community-led informal settlement upgrading and partnership approach.

Emily Mohohlo, Secretary

Emily Mohohlo is a National Coordinator of the South African Federation of the Urban Poor. Since joining the Federation in 1987, Emily has been integral to the growth and development of the Federation across South Africa, supporting the mobilization of savings groups and the implementation of government partnerships to provide housing and basic services to informal settlements. She has been instrumental in the building of federations in neighbouring countries across Southern Africa.

Margaret Bayoh

Margaret Bayoh is a national leader of the Sierra Leone Federation of the Urban and Rural Poor (FEDURP). She has been a member of the Federation since its inception in 2008 and has played an integral role in its growth over the past thirteen years, serving in national leadership roles and representing the Federation at national, regional and international forums and events.

Theresa Carampatana

Theresa Carampatana is President of the Homeless People’s Federation of the Philippines, of which she has been a member since 2010. In recent years, Theresa has led the Federation’s efforts to partner with Government to implement community-led slum upgrading efforts, including disaster risk reduction, Covid-19 relief and response efforts, and climate adaptation projects in slums and informal settlements across the Philippines.

William Cobbett

William (Billy) Cobbett is the former Director of Cities Alliance and served as the Director General for the South African National Department of Housing in Nelson Mandela’s Government of National Unity, overseeing the design and launch of South Africa’s first non-racial housing policy under Minister Joe Slovo. While at UN-Habitat, he designed and launched the Global Campaign for Secure Tenure. He served as Director of the Cities Alliance from 2006-2021.

Anne-Marie Rakhorst

Anne-Marie Rakhorst sits on the Board of Directors in an advisory role in her capacity as Chair of the Board of SDI Netherlands. Anne-Marie is an entrepreneur, investor and publicist in the field of sustainability. She is owner and initiator of the independent platform Duurzaamheid.nl. Previously Anne-Marie started up the successful company Search Ingenieursbureau. She has published various books on sustainable energy, entrepreneurship and sustainable investing.

The SDI Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Beth Chitekwe-Biti as Director of the SDI Secretariat. In this capacity, Beth will serve as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors.

Beth Chitekwe-Biti

Beth Chitekwe-Biti has been at the SDI Secretariat since 2019 where she served as the Deputy Director and Acting Managing Director. Beth was the Founding Director of the SDI Zimbabwe affiliate NGO, Dialogue on Shelter that works in alliance with the Zimbabwe Homeless People’s Federation to advocate for secure tenure and inclusive human settlements. She played a pivotal role in the establishment of SDI processes in Zambia, Malawi and Botswana. Beth holds a planning degree from the University of Zimbabwe, a Postgraduate Certificate in Housing from the University College of London, and a PhD in Development Policy and Management from the University of Manchester.

Following these critical appointments, the Board of Directors and Secretariat are looking forward to taking decisive steps to re-build and strengthen SDI’s governance, management, and operational systems and structures.

These appointments are a critical milestone in the cultural and organisational transformation the SDI Network has initiated in order to achieve our vision ‘for resilient and inclusive cities that improve the lives of the urban poor’. We are confident that the Board, the Secretariat, and the newly established systems and policies now in place offer the network a clear and steady foundation for the re-building of the organisation and its institutions.

We thank you for your continued support and, as always, welcome any feedback or questions you may have.

Joseph Muturi
Chair of the SDI Board of Directors