Africa Europe Women Leaders Network announced on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2021


8 March 2021: On the occasion of this year’s International Women’s Day, the Africa Europe Foundation is announcing the launch of the first Africa Europe Women Leaders Network .

The Africa Europe Women Leaders Network (WLN) brings together leading personalities from the neighbouring continents to transform dialogue into action in the face of the world’s most pressing issues from the climate emergency to the urgent health challenges, sharing also the mission of International Women’s Day 2021 “to achieve an equal future in a Covid-19 world”.

The Women Leaders Network is being 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.

As an initiative which aims to unlock new opportunities for action through an enhanced Africa-Europe partnership, the WLN will meet on average once a month under the Chatham House Rule allowing informal and trusted discussions to tackle diverging and converging perspectives across critical areas of inter-regional dialogue.  The regular exchanges are also directly connected to the work of the Africa Europe Foundation Strategy Groups which have an initial focus on Health, Agriculture, energy, Transport and Connectivity and Digital. Gender is a cross-cutting theme for the AEF and all the Strategy Groups.

The founding members of the Africa Europe Women Leaders Network are:

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Honorary President of the Africa Europe Foundation
Mary Robinson Honorary President of the Africa Europe Foundation
Zeinab Badawi Chair of the Royal Africa Society, International Broadcaster and member of the advisory board of Afrobarometer
Samira Bawumia 2nd Lady of Ghana; Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the Samira Empowerment and Humanitarian Projects (SEHP)
Sharan Burrow General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation
Nathalie Delapalme Executive Director of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation
Bineta Diop Special Envoy of the Chairperson of the AUC on Women, Peace and Security
Kristalina Georgieva Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund
Kate Hampton Chief Executive Officer of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation
Leela Hazzah Co-founder and Executive Director of Lions Guardians, Co-founder & Leadership Council of WE Africa
Connie Hedegaard, Co-Chair of the Africa Europe Foundation Strategy Group on Sustainable Energy; former EU Commissioner for Climate Action; and Chair of the Board for the KR Foundation
Dymphna van der Lans Chief Executive Officer of the Clean Cooking Alliance
Hadeel Ibrahim Board Director of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Africa Center New York
Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim Coordinator, Association des Femmes Peules et Peuples Autochtones du Tchad
Agnes Kalibata Special Envoy for 2021 Food Systems Summit
Musimbi Kanyoro Senior Adviser, “Together Gender Equality” UN Global Compact and former President and CEO of Global Fund for Women
Chebet Lesan Founder and Chief Executive Officer of BrightGreen Renewable Energy
Amina Mohammed UN Deputy Secretary-General and Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group
Vanessa Nakate Founder of the Rise up Climate Movement and Youth for Future Africa
Damilola Ogunbiyi Chief Executive Officer and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy
Sanda Ojiambo Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Director General of the World Trade Organization
Wanjira Mathai Vice President and Regional Director for Africa at the World Resource Institute
Joyce Mends-Cole Board Member of the EJS Presidential Center for Women and Development
Pat Mitchell Editorial director of TEDWomen
Najma Mohamed Policy Director of Green Economy Coalition
Samantha Power Former US Ambassador to UN and Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
Vera Songwe Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
Gunhild A. Stordalen Founder and Executive Chair of the Eat Forum
Halla Tómasdóttir Chief Executive Officer and Chief Change Catalyst for The B Team
Camilla Toulmin Senior Fellow for Energy, Africa Europe Foundation; and Leader of its Strategy Group on Sustainable Energy
Laurence Tubiana Chief Executive Officer of the European Climate Foundation
Margot Wallström Former Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Vice-President of the European Commission
Chrysoula Zacharopoulou MEP and Vice-Chair, European Parliament’s Committee on Development

The Africa Europe Foundation (AEF) was launched in December 2020 to facilitate multi-stakeholder dialogue, catalyse partnerships and unlock new opportunities that can transform Africa-Europe relations into action.  The founders of AEF are: Friends of Europe, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, the African Climate Foundation and the ONE Campaign.

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