2015 Tutu Fellow Dr Kopano Matlwa Mabaso has started a new role as Senior Program Officer, Health, Africa at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Kopano is a public health physician and novelist and the Founding Executive Director of the Grow Great Campaign, which seeks to achieve the goal of zero stunted growth among children in South Africa by 2030.  

At the Gates Foundation, Kopano says that together with colleagues in the Africa team she hopes to strengthen and advance the Foundation's regional and continental health portfolio, with a focus on primary health care and health systems strengthening.

She said she was excited to be joining a team who work tirelessly to improve health outcomes across the continent.

Previously, Kopano has served as a board member of Health Systems Global, the first international membership organization fully dedicated to promoting health systems research and knowledge translation and she is also one of the InterAcademy Medical Panel's Young Physician Leaders.

Outside of her public health work, Kopano is a published fiction writer and the winner of the European Literary Award (2007) and joint winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa (2010). Her three novels, Coconut, Spilt Milk, and Period Pain are social commentaries on post-apartheid South Africa.  She has spoken of the challenge of being a public health physician in a Tutu Talk.

The announcement of her new role was made on LinkedIn.

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About AFLI



The African Leadership Institute (AFLI) focuses on building the capacity and capability of visionary and strategic leadership across the continent. Developing exceptional leaders representing all spheres of society, the Institute’s flagship programme is the prestigious Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship. Offering a multifaceted learning experience and run in partnership with Oxford University, it is awarded annually to 20-25 carefully chosen candidates, nominated from across Africa. Alumni of the African Leadership Institute form a dynamic network of Fellows passionately committed to the continent’s transformation, bridging the divide between nations and ensuring that Africa is set centre-stage in global affairs.