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About Us

The economic development of the continent is hinged on the sustained participation of women in socio-economic spheres at all levels and across sectors. The Graça Machel Trust established a Women’s Rights Programme to strengthen business networks and strategies in order to drive the economic advancement of women and empower future generations in a collaborative and sustainable manner.

Our Approach

The Trust believes in the power of collective effort and action. Over the last five years we have been creating awareness and connecting networks of businesswomen and professionals to work as a recognisable and united continental movement to influence decision making and policies that recognises women’s contribution and potential as partners for growth.

Our programme objectives are to:

  • Advocate for the increased recognition, representation and participation of women in the economy;
  • Strengthen business networks, strategies and efforts to increase women’s participation in the economy; and
  • Facilitate processes that increase women’s awareness of economic opportunities, build women’s confidence and capacity to advance their interests and potential.

Our networks


The Network for African Business Women (NABW) is currently the biggest network in terms of membership. Launched in 2011 the movement aims to strengthen business women’s associations, identify existing business women and turn them into growth-oriented entrepreneurs. The network provides an effective platform for women to freely, equitably and effectively participate in the economic development of their countries through the establishment of sustainable business ventures and strong support organisations.


The African Women in Agribusiness Network (AWAB) aims to address challenges in food security and identify opportunities for women in the agricultural sector. The network advocates for initiatives that enhance women’s competitiveness in local and global markets. AWAB also seeks to foster market linkages for women, connecting them to projects in the agricultural sector that can improve their access to resources, knowledge and training.

New Faces New Voices (NFNV) advocates for women’s access to
finance and financial services. The network aims to bridge the funding gap in financing women-owned businesses in Africa and to lobby for policy and legislative changes. The overall objective of the network is to advance the financial inclusion of women by bringing more women into the formal financial system.

The Women in Media Network (WIMN) is the Trust’s most recent network comprising 35 highly experienced journalists from 15
countries across Africa. A key focus of the network will be to challenge the current perceptions and mindsets about Africa’s
women and children and how they are portrayed in the media. We believe that through balanced storytelling we will be able shape a new reality – one that reflects more nuanced stories, told in the way that women want and deserve their stories to be told.


Congratulations to the Women Creating Wealth Graduates
Congratulations to the Women Creating Wealth Graduates

The Trust celebrates the journey and achievements of all the women entrepreneurs who haveRead More...

Addressing Barriers Faced by Women In the Media
Addressing Barriers Faced by Women In the Media

14 October 2016, Johannesburg, South Africa

Celebrating Our Women’s Networks
Celebrating Our Women’s Networks

31 October to 2 November 2016, Johannesburg, South Africa