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Office of the Founder


Graça Machel

Graça Machel is one of the world’s leading advocates for women, children, and communities affected by conflict and injustice. Born in a rural part of Portuguese East Africa, she attended university in Lisbon before returning home to be a freedom fighter and schoolteacher. After the declaration of Mozambique’s independence, Machel became the country’s first Education Minister. In the years following her government ministry, Machel produced a ground-breaking UNICEF report on the impact of armed conflict on children that changed the way the United Nations and member states respond in conflict zones. Since then, she has worked tirelessly in support of global health, child welfare, and women’s rights and empowerment.

Machel is a founding member of The Elders, and played a key role in establishing Girls Not Brides. She is the Board Chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, and Board Chair of the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes, and President of the Foundation for Community Development. As founder of the Graça Machel Trust, she has more recently focused on advocating for women’s economic and financial empowerment, education for all, an end to child marriage, food security and nutrition, and democracy and good governance. Machel has been recognized for her work on the Africa Progress Panel, UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Group for Every Woman Every Child, the Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy Group, and the High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Graça Machel has dedicated her life to improving lives, inspiring hope, and building a more just and equitable world for us all.



MALAWI MISSION INVOLVING ALL PROGRAMMES, 07 – 10 March 2016:The Graca Machel Trust met with Government of Malawi representatives, members of civil society and women’s business associations to discuss pertinent issues including: child nutrition, advancing women in business, the Food Basket Initiative, child rights and girl child advocacy. Together with the Malawi Government and the United Nations Agencies, Mrs. Machel will also host a panel discussion on 9th March under the theme: SDGs: What does this mean for Malawi?

AFRICAN LEADERSHIP UNIVERSITY, MAURITIUS -Opening as Chancellor, 17 March 2016: The African Leadership University, launched in Mauritius last month with the aim of training Africa’s future leaders, has huge ambitions – to build 25 campuses across the continent and train three million leaders in five decades. It has partnered with Scotland’s Glasgow Caledonian University to award internationally recognised degrees to graduates

TANZANIA MISSION TO LAUNCH MARA PROJECT AND SUPPORT NETWORKS, 05 – 06 April 2016: The Graça Machel Trust, the Mara Alliance and partners join hands on ambitious project to identify, enroll and retain 20 000 out of school children for 2015/16 enrollments in Mara region, Tanzania According to Executive Director of the Legal and Social Assistance Centre (LSAC) and the Secretary of the Mara Alliance, Mr. Ostack Mligo, the project is being coordinated by the Mara Alliance, a 13 member group comprising the Ministry of Regional Administration and Local Government in Mara, the Graça Machel Trust (GMT), school committees and a multi sectoral network of non-governmental organisations and government departments in Mara.


  • Clearly define the exact ‘niche’ that each organization occupies
  • Provide an update on historical accomplishments and current initiatives for each entity
  • Identify any synergies that could exist between various entities
  • Find ways to minimize confusion among donors and corporate

WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM, 11 – 13 May 2016 Kigali, Rwanda : New York University – Receipt of Honorary Doctorate, : Graca Machel, founder of the Graça Machel Trust; leading African businessman and philanthropist Tony O. Elumelu; Akin Adesina, President of the African Development Bank; Phillipe le Houerou, CEO of the International Finance Corporation and Tarek Sultan Al Esso, CEO and Vice Chairman of the Board Agility have been slated to co-chair the 26th World Economic Forum on Africa. Under the theme Connecting Africa’s Resources through Digital Transformation, the 26th World Economic Forum on Africa will convene regional and global leaders from business, government and civil society to discuss digital economy catalysts that can drive radical structural transformation, strengthen public-private collaboration on key global and regional challenges, and agree on strategic actions that can deliver shared prosperity across the continent.