The CEO Forum and coaching programme, designed by African feminists, develops the individual and collective leadership skills of women leaders who are at different points in their careers (senior, mid-level and emerging). As a Capacity Building Programme, this space also addresses critical gap areas while strengthening institutional and governance structures and providing an enabling framework for their sustainability. With this 7th CEO Forum and 4th coaching programme, we have over the years gained specialised knowledge of the persistent challenges African women’s organisations contend with concerning resource mobilisation, communications, governance, leadership transition, safety and wellbeing.
The story below is from one of the participants of the CEO forum and Manda programme. She describes how the programme has caused her to rethink the role of her board in the growth of her organisation and the different connections she has made during the forum.
DEBORAH TAVONGA TAKAWIRA
Markets and Training African Women’s Initiative in Developing Economies
The Forum has been awesome, inspiring and eye-opening. I learned that being a leader involves a lot of things, not just having the academic qualiﬁcations or being able to tell people what needs to be done.You have to ensure that things are running eﬃciently, that there are proper structures that need to be in place in terms of governance and who you are going to be working with . It’s important to have the proper leadership qualities if you are going to be eﬀective.
In Zimbabwe, it’s easy to think you are the only one doing a lot of work, but there are other women on the continent who are also doing awesome work, that is similar to yours. I had the chance to connect with a participant from Malawi who is running a programme that is very similar to ours. It has been very exciting to share our diﬀerent experiences and to learn from them. We have a board that is brilliant and has the necessary skills but we need to ensure that we tap into those skills properly.We will talk with the board to see if they want to work with us to help our organisation to grow and to be at par with all the other successful women’s organisations across Africa.