The Africa Europe Foundation’s Women Leaders Network (WLN) brings together leading personalities from the neighbouring continents to transform dialogue into action on the most pressing issues of the day, from much-needed job creation, to improved healthcare systems and tackling the climate emergency.
Launched on the initiative of the honorary Presidents of the Africa Europe Foundation: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President of the Republic of Liberia and Nobel Laureate; and Mary Robinson, first woman President of Ireland and Chair of the Elders; members come together to use their experience and leadership to unlock new opportunities for action through an enhanced Africa-Europe partnership.
This session will feature a high-level ‘in conversation with’ our network of leaders to get an insight into their wisdom and reflections on ‘Forging a Women’s Alliance for Cross-Continental Climate Leadership’ in the context of this year’s European Development Days theme, “The Green Deal for a Sustainable Future”.
- Africa Europe Women Leaders Network announced on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2021
- An opportune time for an Africa Europe Climate Alliance
- Africa Europe Foundation
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It’s the final decade to get traction to achieve the 2030 Agenda and transform our world. 2021 is a crucial year, despite the global lockdowns, climate change is not on pause. The unique constellation of strategic milestones such as the UN Food Systems Summit, the UN High-Level Political Dialogue on Energy, the UN Conference on Biodiversity, COP26 and next year, COP27 in an African nation, make it imperative that Africa and Europe join forces to achieve impact on global climate commitments. As the clock ticks, women are bearing the brunt of this crisis, but they are also the world’s best bet to fight for a sustainable planet. Now, more than ever, women can drive the sustainable agenda at all levels and are critical to enabling a green and just transition for all.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, BrightGreen Renewable Energy
International Coordinator and Programme Manager, Energia International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy
Dymphna van der Lans
Chief Executive Officer, Clean Cooking Alliance
Kandeh Yumkella (ex officio)
Co-Chair of the Africa Europe Foundation Strategy Group on Energy and former Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy for All
Sheila Oparaocha has eighteen years of working experience in the gender and energy sector. Sheila is the International Coordinator and Programme Manager of the ENERGIA International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy. She manages ENERGIA’s international programmes, planning, monitoring, reporting and liaising with ENERGIA’s donors. Sheila also provides technical support to ENERGIA’s activities on women entrepreneurship development, gender mainstreaming in energy programmes, international policy advocacy, research and evidence development, network building and knowledge management. Sheila co-chairs the Sustainable Development Goal 7 Technical Advisory Group that has been convened by UNDESA to review progress on SDG 7 and it interlinkages with other SDGs for the 2018 High level Political Forum.
Dymphna brings more than 25 years of experience managing and leading global development, energy, and climate initiatives in the nonprofit and private sectors. Most recently, she led international corporate engagement with the World Wildlife Fund’s Climate & Energy team. Previously, she worked with the Clinton Foundation as CEO of the Clinton Climate Initiative and has served as the senior director for public policy programs at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Dymphna has also served as the director of global renewables, infrastructure, and energy efficiency at a specialist investment banking firm in London, and for seven years at BP, where her last appointment was as BP Alternative Energy’s director of distributed energy markets.
Kandeh Yumkella mobilises global action and plays a leading role for the planning and implementation of ground-breaking initiatives towards a sustainable energy future. Kandeh Yumkella is a distinguished development economist and an expert in agricultural economics with over 25 years of international experience. He is actively engaging relevant stakeholders in government, businesses, academia and civil society at the highest level to advocate for and promote sustainable energy for all. As former chair of UN-Energy, he brought a renewed and vital focus to global energy issues and led the coordination of the United Nations response to energy issues. Previously, Dr. Yumkella served as Director-General of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) for two four-year terms. He is currently a member of the National Parliament in Sierra Leone.
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