Presented at the New African Woman Forum in Dakar on April 12-13, the NAW trophies or New African Woman Awards rewarded the excellence of 12 African women in 12 categories. For Leila Ben Hassen, Executive Director of the IC Publications group and initiator of the Forum, we have too better “enhance women’s leadership” in the continent.
If women’s leadership was “in the spotlight in Africa”, Leila Ben Hassen recalled that “women are the first victims of all inequalities”. It therefore lacked a real platform to enhance the actions of those who today shape the future of the continent, in all areas, especially in politics.
“According to all the statistics, the women embody change in Africa. In the political field – but also economic, social, cultural, media …” Let’s come back to the 12 winners of the second New African Woman Forum,” the new annual meeting of African women’s leadership.”
Politics, society, health…
This year, the African Political Women award was given to Amina J. Mohammed, the new UN Assistant Secretary. Formerly Minister of Environment in Nigeria, the winner played a key role in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). She succeeds Nkosazana Dla-mini Zuma, outgoing Chairperson of the African Union, who dedicated her prize to all those who “work for the empowerment of African women.”
In terms of civil society, the jury also awarded Theresa Kachindamoto, the author of 300 cancellations of child marriages in her village in Malawi, thus forcing the government to prohibit this practice throughout the country. Another area: health, with Dr. Helena Ndume from Namibia, a pioneer in cataract surgery, who carried out more than 35,000 completely free operations. So many resolutely political actions, but the Forum was also interested in those who shaped the future.
Education, Youth and Business… trophies for the future
As we dealt with the celebration of those who shaped the future, the “New Generation Trophy” received more prizes. It was won by Femian Vivian Onano, a Kenyan girl rights activist and UN youth adviser.
As for youth, the Zimbabwean Tsitsi Masiyiwa received the Higherlife Foundation’s Education for Work Award. The latter offered scholarships to orphaned and vulnerable children to give them a better chance in life, and already had more than 250,000 children at school. Finally, in the entrepreneurial area, another guarantee of an economic future of the continent: Morocco that was honored with the businesswoman Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch’s 2017 African Women’s Trophy in the company.
A jury for 12 categories
With more than 200 participants in the NAWF, the jury made its verdicts in 12 key categories and among 68 candidates. They were selected from November 14, via the magazine’s readership. The successful New African Woman Forum was intended to reach an even wider audience, with, as recalled by Leila Ben Hassen, the desire to “reach more women in North Africa and in Portuguese-speaking African countries.”
For this, the NAWF will rely on its new laureates as real ambassadors, whether in African fashion (Joan Okorodudu of Nigeria, African woman in arts and culture), finance (Binta Toure Ndoye of Mali, African Woman in finance), Media (Amira Yahyaoui of Tunisia, African woman in the Media), Agriculture (Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, African Woman in Agriculture), or Sport (Fatma Samoura of Senegal, African Woman in Sport).