Graça Machel Trust Launches Movement to Elevate Women’s Leadership in African Development

Women Advancing Africa Forum to convene African women leaders and global champions August 10-12 in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, March 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The Graça Machel Trust (GMT) announced today the launch a Pan-African initiative to ‘Multiply the Faces and Amplify the Voices’ of African women as a force for economic and social transformation.

The Women Advancing Africa (WAA) initiative seeks to ‘Multiply the Faces and Amplify the Voices’ of African women to drive inclusive, sustainable growth across the continent. The Trust will challenge African leaders, government participants and private sector partners to design innovative solutions and commit to specific “Calls for Action” that will increase women’s economic power and elevate the role of women in African development.

On what makes the Women Advancing Africa Forum different, Mrs. Graça Machel says, “To our knowledge there are not many places or platforms where extraordinary examples of successes by African women is showcased.  Through this forum, we want women to come together to strategise, share and learn from each other on how to grow and develop to the next level in their economic and social journey.”

The inaugural Forum will take place from 10-12 August in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and will convene more than 250 women leaders, rising stars and global champions to explore the critical role women play in shaping Africa’s future. Under the overarching theme of ‘Driving Social and Economic Transformation’, the Forum will focus on three core pillars: promoting financial inclusion, increasing market access and driving social change. The Trust believes that the selection of these three thematic areas provides a common agenda for women in the economy, as they are cut across all sectors of the economy and speak to all women at different levels of the economy.

“Driving Social and Economic Transformation means that we need to look holistically at womens’ roles and perceived value.  Transformation is not only about numbers, although the numbers of women represented on Boards, as CEOs, or Department Heads is important, we need a transformative agenda which challenges the conceptualization, social norms, outlook and value given to women and their contribution to the economy and society,” adds Machel.

African women are a powerful economic force but continue to face significant barriers across the continent. Today, seventy percent of African women are financially excluded and many lack access to critical markets, resources and services needed to succeed. In a report released on International Women’s Day, the Trust found that more than 50 percent of female entrepreneurs in East Africa cite access to finance and markets as major challenges in growing their businesses.

Initial support for the WAA initiative is generously provided by The Intel Foundation and The UPS Foundation. Media partners include: the ABN360 Group, incorporating CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa; the Nation Group and locally based Azam Media Group.   These partners share the Trust’s belief that advancing women economically is crucial to the health and prosperity of African families, communities and nations.

The Trust is seeking additional partners to assist in the execution of WAA.

The Trust has also selected APCO Worldwide, the largest women-owned communications firm in the world, to be the convening partner for the Women Advancing Africa initiative. With deep roots in Africa and a long history of planning and executing high-profile events around the world, APCO is working closely with the Graça Machel Trust to bring this important, first-of-its-kind initiative to life.

For more information about the Women Advancing Africa Initiative and the Graça Machel Trust, please visit and http://gracamacheltrust/

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.

APCO Worldwide
Founded in 1984, APCO Worldwide is an independent global communication, stakeholder engagement and business strategy firm with offices in more than 30 major cities throughout the world. We challenge conventional thinking and inspire movements to help our clients succeed in an ever-changing world. Stakeholders are at the core of all we do. We turn the insights that come from our deep stakeholder relationships into forward-looking, creative solutions that always push the boundaries. APCO clients include large multinational companies, trade associations, governments, NGOs and educational institutions. The firm is a majority women-owned business. For more information, please visit

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Volta will gain from creation of new region-Letsa

Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta Regional Minister has said the Region would gain from the creation of a new region for the northern part.

He therefore urged chiefs in the Region to support and co-operate with the government in its reorganisation exercise.

“This is purely a development issueour people in the central and southern parts of the Volta Region have nothing to lose so we must all support the initiative,” Dr Letsa said at a general meeting of the Regional House of Chiefs in Ho.

He expressed government’s commitment to supporting chiefs for the development of their traditional areas and asked them to be “active stakeholders” in the activities of their Municipal and District Assemblies.

Dr Letsa appealed to them to help the Assemblies in the collection of property rates to increase the capacities of their assemblies in undertaking development projects.

He also called for a focus on the Region’s tourism potentials and appealed to players in the private sector to provide receptive facilities at the sites to take advantage of the opportunities.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ethiopian B787 Dreamliner touches down at Kaduna, Nigeria

Ethiopian Airlines, the largest and the leading Pan-African Airline, has successfully landed its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft at the Kaduna International Airport in Nigeria.

The operation, which was graced by the attendance of Nigeria’s Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has made the Airline, the only foreign carrier to land in Kaduna Airport.

Mr Tewolde GebreMariam, Ethiopian Group CEO said: “Our daily services to Kaduna airport, with B-787 Dreamliner, allowing passengers to experience the ultimate on-board comfort, are the only international air transport service linking the capital Abuja with the rest of the world.”

He said the Airline expressed happiness to stand together with their Nigerian brothers and sisters once again in good and challenging times.

Ethiopian Airlines is a pioneer Pan-African carrier, which serves as a catalyst in African integration for the African union. Seventy years serving the continent of Africa, we are still very strong in our motto, bringing Africa together and closer to the world.

“We now proudly serve Nigeria in its four cities: Kaduna and Lagos- daily each, Kano twice weekly and Enugu thrice weekly. And as a result, we are proud to see Nigerians enjoying seamless connections to the rest of the world via Ethiopian for their travels of business and other purposes,” he added.

He said the Ethiopian also provided Nigerians with services on aviation professional training in its largest and the most advanced aviation academy on top of deploying the A350, B787 Dreamliner and the B777 wide body fleets.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Group roots for Zongbil as DCE for Sagnarigu

A group calling itself Concerned Citizens of Sagnarigu, has appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to appoint Mr Peter Tisakia Zongbil as District Chief Executive (DCE) for Sagnarigu.

The group said Mr Zongbil, who is a Contractor and Assembly Member for Kanvilli, in the Sagnarigu District, was capable of driving the developmental agenda of the district area, given his track record as an Assembly Member for two consecutive terms.

Mr Alhassan Zakaria, Secretary of Concerned Citizens of Sagnarigu, who addressed a press conference at Kanvilli, a suburb of the District, said Mr Zongbil used his links with non-governmental organisations to bring social development to the area and would do more if appointed DCE for the District.

Mr Zakaria touted Mr Zongbil’s experience as the Chairman of the Finance and Administration Sub-Committee of the District where he suggested innovative ways that raised revenue.

He also described Mr Zongbil as a unifier saying: “His people management skills have led him to make peace among clans and families, who would have taken their conflicts to a bigger and more dangerous dimension.”

He said Mr Zongbil was a committed member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), who in diverse ways, supported the NPP’s 2016 Parliamentary Candidate for the area as well as defended the Party at various platforms leading to its victory in the 2016 elections.

Source: Ghana News Agency


ACCRA, Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko has called all Ghanaians to join hands to develop legally and socially binding commitments to ensure the treatment of all human excreta in the country by 2019 in order to address Ghana’s huge sanitation and health problems, as well as create thousands of sustainable jobs, clean energy and improve healthy agriculture practice across the country.

He made the call on Tuesday in a speech read on his behalf during the commissioning of the Safisana Waste-to-Energy Treatment Plant at Ashaiman in the Greater Accra Region. The project is supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the government of Netherlands.

The Minister stressed that such a move must be supported with the needed investments from all related Ministries. In this regard, he said the Energy Ministry would consider the allocation of at least 10 per cent of financing facilities for rural electrification under the National Electrification Scheme to renewable energy-based mini-grids and stand-alone solar home systems in island, lakeside and sparsely populated communities nationwide.

He noted that priority would be given to increasing local content and participation in the renewable energy sector, adding that waste-to-energy initiatives would receive intervention in the National Renewable Energy Master Plan (NREMP) with massive boost through the legally binding commitment.

Agyarko gave an assurance that the government would continue with ongoing renewable energy projects launched by the previous administration, particularl, the 200,000 National Rooftop Solar Programme, mini-grids for the Ada-East District, and the AfDB off-grid project under GEDAP III project, among others.

Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, said the treatment of human excreta must start with the provision of toilet facilities for all households. According to him, about 75 per cent of households still resort to open defecation.

He said it was about time separation-of-waste policies were enforced to ensure that organic raw materials were made available for treatment.