‘… but still like dust, I’ll rise.” — Maya Angelou

Dambisa Dube



Organisation / Company

Konrad Adenauer Foundation South Africa


Young people are always at the centre of triggering the necessary changes society requires, says Dambisa Dube, 32. She learned this while leading a research project exploring the effects of digitalisation on youth participation in Germany. She says we cannot speak of a South African future without ensuring young people are key actors in shaping it — but fortunately, there is just such a shift happening in the governance sector. Dambisa is a project manager responsible for communication, digitalisation and innovation at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation South Africa. Her biggest challenge there is working with different stakeholders who have varying agendas, mandates and styles of working, but she says this is equipping her with excellent project management skills. She has learned to work in fast-paced environments while juggling the responsibilities of motherhood. In addition to her job, Dambisa leads the Education, Skills and Development subgroup of the Youth Reference Committee on Strengthening Youth Participation in Ending Inequalities of the African Union Youth Envoy. Her wish is to become an innovator who triggers social change, but she already considers herself fortunate to have a job that uses and fulfils all of her strengths and skills.


Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies (Honours), University of the Western Cape
Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies, University of the Western Cape


I was particularly proud of leading a research project that explored the effects of digitalisation on youth participation during my research fellowship in Berlin, Germany. Not only was this an incredibly difficult process to navigate and lead independently while in a foreign country, but it was a timeous project that highlighted the importance of young people and nurturing their engagement, even in unconventional ways. I learned that it is always young people at the centre of triggering necessary change.


Yes, many. The one who stands out is Sybille Koch, who used to be the head of international exchanges for the German Parliament. She is such a brilliant, empathetic and sharp leader. She has this amazing ability to identify brilliance and harness it. She did this for me and continues to do this for others. She impacted my career trajectory in the most profound way.