The International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF) has appointed two women — Moreangels Mbizah and Dominique Noome — to key roles as the organisation gears up for a major expansion across Southern Africa. Mbizah has taken the position of Lead Ranger programme scientist Zimbabwe and Noome as director of Akashinga Africa.
The Lead Ranger programme, based in Kenya, delivers tailored training, long-term support and mentoring to develop wildlife crime enforcement leaders and instructors, who remain based in the ecosystems they are protecting.
Akashinga (or the Brave Ones) is a community-driven conservation model, empowering disadvantaged women to restore and manage large networks of wilderness, alongside their local communities. IAPF is an independent organisation which operates the two programmes — Akashinga and Lead Ranger.
IAPF CEO Damien Mander said the foundation’s evolution to Akashinga as a model to protect large-scale wilderness regions was not just about deploying women into frontline conservation roles, but about rebuilding the organisation’s make-up, policies, procedures and leadership.
“We are proud to welcome Dr Mbizah into the team to help lead the science behind what we do.
As one of the region’s most qualified conservationists, the decisions that affect the largest female conservation force in Africa will be increasingly driven by women-led research,” Mander said. As Lead scientist for IAPF Zimbabwe, Mbizah, who was recently profiled by The Guardian newspaper as one of 40 outstanding women of Zimbabwe, will initially focus on human-wildlife conflict in and around the areas of the akashinga portfolio.