The Partnership for Maternal, New born, and Child Health Partners' Forum, held at the Sandton Convention Centre in South Africa at the end of June, instilled a renewed sense of purpose as delegates engaged in the last stretch of the MDGs and in the final stages of the development of the Post 2015 framework.
Welcome to the 3rd African Women’s Economic Summit. We are hosting this event today as a result of a pledge Zambia made at the last Summit in 2012. The pledge came as a pleasant surprise to us all and it was the first time that a National Government pledged to host one of our Summits. We are deeply grateful to the generosity and hospitality of the people of Zambia, in particular I would like to thank her Excellency the First Lady of Zambia, Dr Christine Kaseba-Sata for co-hosting this event as well as our strategic partners, the Ministry of Gender and Children, the Bank of Zambia and sponsors. My deep thanks also go to our strategic partners Dr Donald Kaberuka and his team at the African Development Bank.
In 2009, a gauntlet was thrown at a group of women working in banking and finance. They were challenged to use their knowledge and expertise in finance and business to influence the direction of Africa’s economic development. This was at the backdrop of the 2008 global economic crisis which shifted the shape of our global economy. The uncertainty was a space for us to rethink the place of women in the corridors of power and policy. With change comes opportunities and New Faces, New Voices was born in this period, informed by a vision of creating a movement of women with power to influence economies in Africa and beyond.
Launched in 2008, the Scholarship Programme, jointly managed by the Canon Collins Trust and the Graça Machel Trust, provides an opportunity for women from rural and disadvantaged backgrounds to access post-graduate studies. Each scholarship helps with the Trust’s mandate of increasing the visibility and influence of a new generation of highly qualified women. To date 68 women beneficiaries have completed post-graduate degrees in a variety of areas ranging from science and technology, to business and commerce, and the humanities. The Graça Machel scholars are linked with mentors from the Graça Machel network and alumni from the Canon Collins Trust network.