Our Advisors

Our staff are supported by a group of Technical Advisors who provide strategic and technical advice, and quality assurance at a programme, project and policy level.

Professor Rachel Murray

Rachel Murray is Professor of International Human Rights Law at the University of Bristol. Her specialist areas are human rights in Africa, particularly the African Charter and its Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Organization of African Unity/African Union. She has written widely in this area, including books with Hart Publishing and Cambridge University Press (Human Rights in Africa, from Organization of African Unity to African Union, Cambridge, 2004; The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The System at Work, with Malcolm Evans, Cambridge, 2008; The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and International Law, Hart Publishing, 2000), and articles in leading legal human rights journals. She also advises organisations and individuals on how to use the African human rights system, including drafting cases and participating in its meetings. She is on the editorial board of a number of journals including the Journal of African Law and African Journal of International and Comparative Law.

Jan Knight was on the Board of Trustees from 2004 to 2014, with a number of years spent as Chair. She has a background in international development, specifically in the field of social equity and rights, and believes in African Initiatives’ approach through partnering with African communities and supporting them to bring about sustainable change for themselves. Jan considers that one of the most valuable roles of African Initiatives is the learning they are disseminating from their African partners and their contributions to the development education curriculum in the UK. To date, Jan’s work has included short and long-term assignments in 21 countries in Africa and Asia. Her experience and awareness of the changing development environment contribute to the effective governance of African Initiatives.

Jan Knight

Ash Sharma

Ash Sharma is Senior Adviser for Climate Change for DANIDA / Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Berlin. Prior to that, he worked at the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation in Helsinki, Finland where he was Vice President at the bank with overall responsibility for the climate business. He has been working for 25 years within sustainable energy, environment and international development in financial, industry, consulting and third sector positions, with projects and activities undertaken throughout Africa (where he has worked in 20 countries), Latin America and developing Asia. Ash is a scientist by training and holds postgraduate qualifications in marketing and finance. He joined African Initiatives as a trustee in October 2014 and worked for 2 years on finance and governance issues, until his departure for Germany. Since August 2016 he has been a technical adviser on climate change and sustainable development.