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SGC hosts the 2nd residency of the African Women Leadership and Mentorship Initiative

Strathmore Governance Centre (SGC) is currently hosting the second residency of the African Women Leadership and Mentorship Initiative (AWLMI) which runs from Monday 16th February to Friday 27th February 2015. The first residency was held at SGC in February 2014, while the last one is anticipated to be in November 2015. The same group of 28 African women occupying positions of leadership in public, private, and civic spheres, drawn from Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Malawi, Kenya, and South Sudan will deal with a central theme: “Promoting accountable democracies and advocacy training”.


The AWLMI is a targeted training programme aimed at building women’s capacity in contributing towards plugging the leadership gap in Africa, through grooming a cadre of transformational women leaders. It is the brainchild of the Urgent Action Fund- Africa (UAF), a pan-African women’s rights fund, in strategic partnership with Strathmore Governance Centre and the Coady Institute, an academic centre of St Francis Xavier University, Canada. The Coady International Institute seeks to ignite a type of leadership that inspires collaborative effort to address challenges, discover opportunities and create sustainable development at the community level. Preliminary baseline studies and needs assessments informed this programme by shedding light on the gender disparity in political participation, as well as other development challenges affecting women in African countries. As a contribution to bridging the gap, AWLMI is oriented towards galvanizing increased momentum of women’s political participation, and inculcating efficient methods of understanding and tackling socio-political issues among women leaders in Africa.


Key areas of interest during the second residency will be: building an understanding of the concepts of citizenship, governance, and democracy, and how they apply in the context of the participants’ home countries; analysing African governance and democracy from a gender perspective; examining the role and importance of women’s participation in politics; and devising strategies for augmenting women’s participation in the politics of African countries. To further the pragmatic angle of this training, participants will be guided through dissecting contemporaneous social issues specific to their home countries, and developing actionable strategies for advocacy and media engagement in response.


At the culmination of this programme, the participants are anticipated to: embody a heightened self-awareness as transformational leaders in their societies; espouse critical leadership skills that are responsive to the nuanced needs of their respective countries; develop an appreciation for value based governance, asset based community development, and inclusivity in political participation; challenge gendered power differentials through educating and empowering more women to be proactive in governance matters; as well as, develop the capacity to apply relevant models that build economic empowerment, accountability, and political legitimacy into their communities. Through participation in AWLMI, the programme is expected to build a network of women leaders that will serve as a continual reservoir for peer mentorship, support, and collaboration. 

A team of 5 professionals from the 3 collaborating institutions with backgrounds spanning academia, development, governance, gender issues, and human rights will facilitate the programme.


Stella Maranga

Women’s Leadership & Gender Specialist, Coady Institute, St Francis Xavier University

Ms. Stella Maranga is a women and governance expert with more than 20 years’ experience with international organizations, women’s organizations and networks, development partners, civil society and governments in Kenya and East Africa.  She has worked as a researcher at the University of Nairobi.  She has also worked as a lead trainer and facilitator for gender analysis mainstreaming, and on the academic program for the development studies courses at both the MS-TCDC training center in Arusha, northern Tanzania, and at the Development Studies Centre, Kimmage Manor, Ireland. Ms Maranga has provided strategic direction for gender work in the region for Oxfam-GB. Her experience in women and governance field was further developed in her work when she joined UN Women in 2009 as a gender and governance advisor.  Ms. Maranga joined Coady Institute recently.


Emily Sikazwe

Associate, Coady Institute, St Francis Xavier University

Zambian Emily Sikazwe is the outgoing CEO of Women for Change, an organization based in Zambia dedicated to the empowerment of women. Women for Change promotes and supports gender sensitivity and human rights activism at community, institutional and national levels, and works to build the livelihood capacities of rural communities in a gender-balanced manner. Prior to this position, Emily was employed as an Agronomist with the Zambian Ministry of Agriculture. In 2005, she was appointed to the NEPAD Gender Task Force. Emily co-facilitates the elective in Gender Analysis for Policy and Planning within the Diploma Program as well as the Advocacy and Citizen Engagement specialization. Emily has a Master of Adult Education from St Francis Xavier University. She holds an MSc in Agronomy from the Moldavia-Kishniev Agricultural Institute, as well as a Diploma in Community-Based Development and a Certificate in Advocacy and Networking, both from the Coady International Institute.


Dr. Antoinette K. Kankindi

Senior Lecturer and Senior Research Fellow, Governance Centre, Strathmore University

Dr Antoinette K. Kankindi, PhD and MCGO (Governance) from the University of Navarra, Spain and LLM from the University of Kinshasa, DRC is a Congolese citizen.  Before pursuing her postgraduate studies in Philosophy (Rome and Pamplona), she worked as legal advisor for Chevron Overseas Co. in Kinshasa. She later assumed the same responsibility in the Chilean Embassy for national and foreign policies. She joined Strathmore University in 2004 where she lectures in Social and Political Philosophy. She was appointed Director of the Governance Centre in May 2009 and served until September 2013. She is now a senior research fellow at the centre and a full time senior lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Dr. Kankindi’s research interests cover governance challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa with a focus on political legitimacy, integrity in public services, devolution, political participation, particularly for women and youth among others.


Ndanatsei Bofu-Tawamba

CEO, Urgent Action Fund-Africa

Ndana Bofu-Tawamba, an African citizen and Zimbabwean national is the CEO and Executive Director at Urgent Action Fund-Africa (UAF-Africa). She is a champion of women leadership, and a social entrepreneur with a solid philanthropic record. Ndana developed her expertise from, among others, the UN Women office in Zimbabwe. She has lectured at the Women University in Africa and speaks at several high level platforms spanning all areas of women leadership on the continent, with a particular focus on a social justice agenda.  Ndana is an Executive Education Program alumna of INSEAD Business School, Fontainebleau, France and Singapore. She holds an MA in Women studies from Lancaster University and a BSc in Sociology from the University of Zimbabwe as well as a diploma in Personnel Management. Ndana’s leadership at UAF-Africa is allowing her to expand her commitment to social justice as well as an opportunity to explore further the women potential in the world.


Lucie Goulet

Associate, Coady Institute, St Francis Xavier University

Lucie Goulet has 26 years of programming experience, including 23 in international development where she worked as a Country Director and as Regional Manager overseeing development programming in the Horn of Africa, West Africa, and the Caribbean. Her expertise covers diverse areas such as to education, livelihoods, gender equality, and organizational capacity building. She worked in five African countries for 10 years. Her collaboration with the Coady Institute dates back to 2003 when she led a partnership with Coady on Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) for Oxfam Canada in Ethiopia, among other initiatives.  Lucie is currently working as a facilitator and associate with Coady’s International Centre for Women’s Leadership, and on off-site education programs. Lucie holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in Sociology from Université Laval in Quebec, and a DPPE (Graduate degree in Program and Policy Evaluation) from Carleton University in Ottawa.