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The Secretariat Team

Prof Geci Karuri-Sebina

National Coordinator

Geci was contracted as the CTIN National Organiser in 2018, at a time where she had also accepted a Visiting Research Fellow role at the Wits School of Governance. She has a background in using tech and innovation to work with communities and is also a thought-leader who is Associated with South African Cities Network (SACN), a public urban governance learning network.

Her previous roles include being the Executive Manager for Programmes at SACN; developing knowledge and evaluation systems for National Treasury’s Neighbourhood Development Programme; managing research programmes at the CSIR and HSRC, and working as a technology associate at the UCLA Advanced Policy Institute.

Her research interests span a range of development foresight, policy, planning and practice topics, particularly relating to urban governance, socio-technical systems, and innovation systems. She is also a co-editor of the Innovation Africa book series (2016, 2020) and an associate editor on several journals on futures.

Melissa Tsungai Zisengwe

Program Officer

Melissa was appointed as a journalist at JamLab and Civic Tech Innovation Network (CTIN) in 2018. She has been acting as the project manager for CTIN. She is a graduate of Rhodes University, she holds an honours degree in Journalism and Media Studies and a BA degree in Journalism and Media Studies and English Language and Linguistics.

She is interested in researching and advancing civic tech, social innovation, digital rights in Africa. She is also a research fellow at the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) focusing on examining the use of civic tech during the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa.

Before joining the JamLab team, Melissa worked at Creamer Media.

Mmabatho Montse

Project Assistant

Mmabatho was appointed by CTIN in August 2020. She has a strong entrepreneurial background, having started and run over five enterprises, including a non-profit organisation.

She holds a BCom Honours degree in Business Management, a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Mmabatho is currently reading for a Master’s degree in the field of Governance, specialising in Public Policy with the Wits School of Governance. Her research focuses on feminist leadership and its influence women’s social entrepreneurship.

Nkosinathi Mcetywa

Project Assistant

Nkosinathi is an Urban Planning graduate and a Wits alumni. While studying planning he took a lot of interest in issues surrounding urban governance and the ability of the State to be transparent and accountable to its constituents. He recently completed a postgraduate qualification in Business Administration at the Wits Business School.

Nkosinathi has worked in the education space, as part of the Student Equity and Talent Management Unit which facilitates a number of pre-university and university programmes including the Targeting Talent Programme. He played a significant part in his 2 years there as part of the projects team that brought these projects to life. He currently writes as part of a collective of bloggers writing about youth issues.

Indra de Lanerolle


Indra founded the CTIN project in 2017 and was active in managing it until he took a leave of absence in July 2019. He was also the director of the Journalism and Media Lab (JamLab) at Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

Jamlab hosted the Civic Tech Innovation Network as well as running an accelerator programme for media innovation. Indra is a visiting researcher and adjunct lecturer on the Journalism and Media programme at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg where he teaches television journalism and media entrepreneurship. He has conducted research on Internet access and use in Africa and published his work in academic journals as well as newspapers. He has also presented his work at Oxford University and Harvard. He was a senior producer at the BBC and co-founded and ran one of South Africa’s leading television companies.

Tshepo Tshabalala

Former Editor

Tshepo Tshabalala is a web editor for, the Journalism and Media Lab (JamLab). He also edited the Civic Tech Innovation Network online publications. He is also a sub-editor for Wits Vuvuzela’s print and online publications at Wits Journalism.

Tshepo’s work has appeared in radio, print, wire services and online in South Africa and various other countries in Africa. He has worked as a reporter at Thomson Reuters Johannesburg bureau, Forbes Africa publications, a freelance contributor to SmartPlanet and web producer for Business Day, Financial Mail and BusinessLIVE. He is a Chevening Scholar and an EVA Junior Business Fellow. He has a Master in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and is currently completing a Master in Journalism degree. Tshepo is now part of the CTIN Reference Group.