Based in Johannesburg, Melissa Govender works as a Senior Policy Manager for the African continent, identifying areas for collaboration within the digital economy. Melissa’s work focuses on the digital divide, and how technology can be used to unlock economic opportunities and growth in Africa, ensuring alignment with the African Union’s Agenda 2063. Melissa has extensive stakeholder mapping and engagement experience having spearheaded advocacy campaigns that included government departments, regulators, private sector industry bodies like Business Unity South Africa, and the Banking Association of South Africa.
Melissa is currently assisting a satellite client with government relations in the markets they operate as well as with the implementation of a pan-African engagement strategy that highlights the role of satellites in addressing Africa’s rural connectivity challenges. Melissa currently represents Access Partnership at the African Telecommunications Union, where preparations for WRC 22 are taking place. Melissa is also working on licensing requirements for several clients, as well as providing regulatory and political risk analysis for clients focusing on South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Egypt. Financial inclusion is of significance in Africa where many Africans are excluded from financial markets – Melissa is working on a project that aims to understand how RegTech can enhance financial inclusion in Africa.
Prior to Access Partnership, Melissa headed up Regulatory Engagements for British American Tobacco’s Southern African operations. Melissa has spent over five years working in the financial sector, where she assessed prudential and market conduct regulation; she also assisted with the establishment of Standard Bank’s Regulatory Advocacy Unit and pioneered The Regulatory Dialogue series. Melissa has trained as a diplomat and, on completion of her master’s degree in International Political Economy from the London School of Economics, she was selected for the Development Bank of Southern Africa’s Young Professional Program. Melissa holds a BA degree in Political Science and Media Writing, obtained from the University of Cape Town.