On the 9th August 2017, The Graça Machel Trust officially launched the Women Advancing Africa Forum, a new Pan-African initiative to acknowledge and celebrate the critical role women play in shaping Africa’s future. More than 200 African women leaders and partners are expected to attend the Forum.
“Women Advancing Africa seeks to create an intergenerational movement of women who will build consensus on priorities they are going to tackle together. By connecting women leaders, we can open avenues and opportunities that will bring along thousands and indeed millions of women, to conquer and take advantage of the economic advances being made in Africa.” – said Graca Machel
Speakers for the inaugural Forum include H.E. Samia Suluhu Hassan, Vice President of the Republic of Tanzania and member of UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment and Hon. Ummy Mwalimu, Minister of Health, Gender, Community Development, Children and the Elderly for Tanzania, as well as experts and activists from key economic sectors including mining and extractives, agri-business, banking, telecommunications, media, healthcare, services and trade.
Women Advancing Africa will showcase African women’s leadership and create an inclusive panAfrican agenda to accelerate women’s advancement in three core areas: Financial Inclusion to bring more women into the formal financial system, Market Access to elevate women’s economic participation and Social Change to change the way society values women and their contributions.
In line with these core focus areas, the Trust will launch several studies and publications at the WAA Forum – revealing important new insights on the opportunities and challenges facing African women, including: The Female Economy in Africa; Women in Media: What is the Narrative? A Survey to Explore Growth Barriers Faced by Female Entrepreneurs in East Africa; The Empowerment of Women Study and Case studies of innovative ways to empower African women. The Forum will also see the launch of a book entitled, Women Creating Wealth, which is a compilation of success stories of African women in business.
During the four-day gathering, the Trust will collaborate with notable women leaders from government, civil society and the private sector to develop targeted priorities across six industry tracks, including Agri-business, Energy, Extractives and Infrastructure, Services and Trade, Technology, Financial Inclusion and Changing the Narrative: Media and Creative Industries. Main outcomes of the Forum are expected to focus on:
- Creating a Common Advocacy Agenda. To drive social and economic change that is measurable and impactful;
- Developing Financial Tools that Work for Women. Creating financial tools and systems (including alternate models) that respond to the needs of diverse women and enable access to financial products and services;
- Increasing Women’s Access to Capital. Placing more resources in the hands of women;
- Elevating Women’s Leadership. Advancing women in management and leadership positions across key economic sectors;
- Commitments from Key Institutions. Challenging public, private and non-governmental institutions do their part to include and advance women through bold pledges;
- Dynamic New Networks. Developing dynamic networks that generate opportunities for women and ensure young leaders are supported and mentored;
- Amplifying Women’s Voices. Increasing the visibility and voices of women through more nuanced storytelling.
The Women Advancing Africa Forum is a first-of-its-kind initiative focused on empowering women to better participate and benefit from Africa’s growing economy. The Forum will also feature a variety of side events focused on critical issues, including food security and nutrition; education initiatives and ending child marriage; leadership and wellness; as well as changing the narrative of women in media.
To learn more about the Women Advancing Africa Forum and view the full programme and list of side events, please visit the Women Advancing Africa website and for updates, announcements and livestream sessions from the inaugural Forum, follow Women Advancing Africa on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Graça Machel Trust
The Graça Machel Trust is an organisation that works across the continent to drive positive change across women’s and children’s rights, as well as governance and leadership. Through our support of local initiatives and connecting key stakeholders at a regional, national and sub-national level, we help to catalyse action where it is needed. By using our convening power the Trust seeks to: amplify the voices of women and children in Africa; influence governance; promote women’s contributions and leadership in the economic social and political development of Africa. For more, please click HERE
Issued by: Graca Machel Trust