In May 2015, ten African women political leaders from five African countries inaugurated an area for debate at Yale University to delve into big global matters and reflect on leadership, improvement in governance and the need to bolster our democracies from the perspective of equality and full participation from women.
Last week, Yale University hosted the fourth of these seminars, with thirteen outstanding leaders from eight African countries taking part this time: Dorcas Makgato-Malesu, the Minister for Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, from Botswana; and Rasmata Compaore, the mayor of district 12 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Others include Edith “Kah” Walla, President of the Cameroon People’s Party; and Elizabeth Kade, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, from Chad; Maya Morsy, President of Egypt’s National Council for Women; Mariam Jack Denton, Speaker of Gambia’s National Assembly; and Otiko Afisa Djaba, the Minister for Gender in Ghana.
The rest are Nanfadima Magassouba, a former minister and Member of Parliament, Makale Traoré, a former minister and President of REFAMP, from Guinea-Conakry; Oumou Sall Seck, the Mayor of Goundam in Mali; Asmâa Morine Azzouzi, the president of AFEM, from Morocco; Valentine Rugwabiza, Ambassador to the UN for Ruanda; and Hibaaq Osman, the president of Al Karama, from Somalia.
María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, the president of the Women for Africa Foundation and former Deputy Prime Minister of Spain, also took part in the seminar in the opening session.
The forum was held for the first time under the management of Emma Sky,who is also the Director of the Maurice R. Greenberg World Fellows programme.
As in previous years, the forum took place in two stages.The first was held entirely at Yale, where over five days a team of lecturers from the university gave an intensive course of sessions on globalization, governance, global health, social activism, leadership & strategy, peace & security, and of course gender.
After this agenda, the participants travelled to Washington, where met with significant individuals from the public sphere in the United States and internationally.
This initiative by the Women for Africa Foundation and Yale University has the backing of Santander Bank within the context of the collaboration that the bank has maintained with both institutions for several years through Santander Universidades.