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Annie MUTAMBA : “Women are contributing to changing the discourse about Africa”

By harnessing her expertise in strategic communication, Annie Mutamba is shaping a future where African voices resonate more strongly on the international stage, particularly those of women.

« Working behind the scenes is an aspect of my profession that I nurture and defend, especially in the opaque world of lobbying and influence. »

Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo and residing in Belgium for several years, Annie has navigated through the corridors of European and international institutions, leaving her mark at every step of her career.

« At nearly 50 years old, with studies in communication and international relations, I quickly realized that I wanted to work at the interface between public and institutional officials and the private sector, lobbying. After a decade spent in a large chemical company in Brussels, where I gained valuable experience in formulating European policies, I noticed the absence of African voices in discussions about access to natural resources. »

Communication is a development accelerator

To bridge this gap, she founded Meridia Partners, a strategic communication firm specializing in Europe-Africa relations, from Brussels, her « observation post. »

Convinced that communication is a development accelerator, Annie leads initiatives such as Africa Communications Week, a global platform aimed at influencing the continent’s transformation through communication.

As a passionate educator, Annie shares her expertise with the next generation of leaders by teaching lobbying at the European College. She is also involved in several boards of directors, where she works to promote investments in Africa. « I try to stay active to nourish my consulting activities. This allows me to stay close to the issues we are trying to defend. »

Amplifying African voices and nuancing the caricatured image of African women

However, Annie also recognizes the challenges faced by women, both professionally and politically. « Our job is to support them, to help them stand out. For Africans, it is not difficult to stand out in Brussels because we are not so numerous, but men, at the decision-making level, have more ease than women, who tend to be more reasonable. Women are more pragmatic. »

And she observes: « What has evolved significantly are the meetings between women from both continents. This allows African voices to be heard, increasingly seen in the media, including European media, and to nuance the caricatured image of African women. Women are contributing to changing the discourse about Africa. »

Diaspora women must dare to make their voices heard

In this regard, the diaspora, particularly diaspora women, must « dare » and make their voices heard. « I believe that what would change the game, here in Belgium and in France, is if they could play more significant political roles. Some have succeeded and literally change the game, but we really need women in positions of power and visibility. This changes the discourse entirely. They must dare; we need more women to hold these positions. »

This is her conviction: communication, female leadership, and intercontinental dialogue are powerful tools for shaping a better future for Africa and the world. Her unwavering dedication to these ideals makes her an inspiring and influential figure in international circles. « It’s about explaining our professions and how we intervene in the transformation of our economies. If we don’t work on this, the rest will remain very incomplete, very slow. »

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