Refiloe Ogude

Director of Performance Monitoring

Refiloe Ogude is definitely a woman South Africa needs for the future – she is dynamic, determined, forward thinking, and years ahead of her chronological age of 29.

With a background in corporate finance and management consulting, Ogude has a master’s in global affairs focusing on conflict prevention and economic development.

She has worked for the United Nations Development Programme, the South African Institute for Race Relations and at the Hoftsra University in New York, where she was guest lecturer in comparative politics.

She has published discussion papers analysing challenges in the consolidation of democracy within various African countries including Kenya, Egypt, Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Guinea Bissau, and during 2010 conducted field research in Syria, Jordon, Israel and the West Bank on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Ogude attended the 44th St Gallen Symposium in Switzerland as one of 200 Global Leaders of Tomorrow, and made it to the interview stages of the Obama Administration’s Young African Leaders Initiative, from a competitive pool of 50 000 Africans.

Until recently a political analyst with the department of economic development, responsible for developing policy on issues related to poverty, inequality and unemployment, Ogude has now taken a position as director of performance monitoring and evaluation in the presidency.

This role sees her as part of a team responsible for developing, implementing and maintaining a municipal performance assessment system with the view to improving the performance of municipalities across South Africa.

Ogude sees her greatest challenge as accepting that some of the outcomes of her contribution may only be comprehensively felt in decades to come.

“I was born into a generation that on the one hand is faced with some the most complex and daunting challenges that mankind has ever known, such as gross inequality, high levels of youth unemployment and seemingly intractable armed conflicts.

“On the other hand, we live in a technological age that emphasises the now and a relentless sense of urgency for immediate change.

“Reconciling these realities can be challenging. Although I know that those we seek to serve want change now, just as I do, I’m acutely aware that the problems we face – particularly dismantling the structural disparities that exist in South Africa and elsewhere – will take time [to resolve].”

Ogude is most inspired by being able to interact daily with people committed to bridging the inequality gap in South Africa, on our continent and globally. — Linda Doke