The Murtala Muhammed Foundation (MMF) yesterday said former President of Malawi, Dr. Joyce Banda, would handle the second Women’s Power Lunch keynote address.
The MMF said the power lunch, which would be attended by women leaders and influencers from government, private sector, civil society, academia/students, media and the arts, was designed to brainstorm challenges facing women in Africa.
The foundation disclosed this in a statement by its Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Aisha Muhammed-Oyebode, noting that the annual event “is an initiative of Muhammed-Oyebode.”
The statement said the Women’s Power Lunch “attracts the attendance of a cross generational audience of women leaders and influencers from all walks of life including government, private sector, civil society, academia/students, media and the arts.
“A lot is already being done to advance equal opportunities and the rights of women and children in Africa. The is, however, a lot of grounds we are yet to cover, which requires the urgent need for women to network across geographies and occupations – to deepen our cooperation and develop new platforms for collaboration in the pursuit of our common goal of defeating patriarchy and misogyny in Africa. This is one of the goals of this initiative.”
The statement said Women’s Power Lunch had become a prominent feature in the annual calendar of women’s events in Africa, where internationally acclaimed and highly distinguished speakers “deliver inspiring keynote addresses on pertinent development issues relating to African women, in an ambiance that stimulates robust engagement, rich discussions and networking opportunities.
“The 2016 edition – the second since its inception in 2015 – is themed, ‘Women in Solidarity: A New Paradigm for Inclusion,” the statement said.
It added that Banda, a foremost entrepreneur, activist, politician, and philanthropist, would deliver the keynote address of the 2016 edition of the programme.
It noted that Banda was the founder and leader of the People’s Party in Malawi and was the South-Eastern African country’s first female president and Africa’s second.
In 2013, the statement said: “Banda was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME Magazine, and in December 2014, Forbes named her the most powerful woman in Africa and the 40th most powerful woman in the world. In the same year CNN named her as the most inspirational woman in politics in the world.
“The first edition of the Women’s Power Lunch featured Her Excellency, Mrs. Graça Machel Mandela, the former first lady of South Africa and Mozambique, as Keynote Speaker,” the statement said.
The MMF was founded to commemorate the ideals and legacies of former Head of State, late Gen. Murtala Muhammed which include the empowerment of women and children, as well as the social and economic integration of African people.