Convening African women leaders at the Yale Leadership Forum

Elizabeth Elango-Bintliff and Ruth Botsio at the Yale Leadership Forum in Accra, Ghana.
Elizabeth Elango-Bintliff ’99 (left) and Ruth Botsio ’09 moderated for a session titled, “Leveraging the Power of Mentoring” at the Yale Leadership Forum in Accra, Ghana.

On March 11, President Peter Salovey opened the Yale Leadership Forum in Accra, Ghana, hosted by Yale, La Fundación Mujeres por África (the Women for Africa Foundation), and Banco Santander. Previous participants of Yale’s Leadership Forum for Strategic Impact participated in the event, which featured an agenda that focused on strategies and ideas for supporting the next generation of African women leaders. Emma Sky, a Senior Fellow at Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and director of Yale’s Maurice R. Greenberg World Fellows Program, moderated the first panel discussion on leadership. Sky was recently named the new director of the Leadership Forum.

In 2015, Yale launched the Leadership Forum for Strategic Impact, a key element of the Yale Africa Initiative. The forum aims to amplify the effectiveness and influence of women in African governments. Its curriculum, designed together with the foundation, explores governance and policy issues important to Africa’s social, political, and economic development: transparency and corruption, public policy development, rule of law, public health, environmental sustainability, gender equality, economic growth, food security, social welfare, financial systems, energy politics, terrorism and national security, and globalization. The program is now entering its fourth year. Yale will welcome a new group of 15 leaders from five different countries to campus in May.

Obiageli Ezekwesili giving remarks at the Yale Leadership Forum in Accra, Ghana.
Obiageli Ezekwesili, the former Nigerian Minister of Education commenting during the “Journey to Leadership” session.

This forum reiterates the importance of global engagement for education, public service, and leadership across different sectors,” Salovey said. “Yale aspires to advance our role as a leading global research university through building partnerships worldwide.”

Salovey praised “the vision of Network of African Women Leaders, of every student who bravely traveled away from home to share his or her talent with and learn about the world, and every Yale alumni and friend who gave her or his time, expertise, and resources to support the growing partnerships between our university and institutions in Africa.”

Yale alumni joined the Yale Leadership Forum discussions, which were capped by a reception hosted by the Yale Clubs of Ghana and Nigeria for alumni and friends from across the region. More than 500 Yale alumni live and work in Africa. Through alumni and other networks, Yale has recently made about 80 Africa-based internship opportunities available to students.

This leadership forum is among various events Salovey and a delegation of Yale faculty members and staff are engaging in as they travel to the countries of Ghana and Kenya March 10-16. Follow #YaleinAfrica on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to see updates and photos from the visit.

President Salovey and the women at the YALE Leadership forum.
President Salovey (seated center) and the women at the Yale Leadership Forum.

This trip marks five years since the launch of the Yale Africa Initiative (YAI), announced by Salovey during his 2013 inaugural address. A long-term, university-wide commitment, the YAI aims to bring scholarship, teaching, and learning about Africa at Yale into sharper focus; foster new directions in Yale’s research collaborations around Africa; strengthen strategic partnerships; and help Yale recruit the best and brightest scholars from around the continent.

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Part of the In Focus Collection: Yale and Africa: Empowering through partnership

Media Contact

Adam Gaber: adam.gaber@yale.edu, 203-436-5449