The Manda coaching program is an opportunity for young women in second level leadership to come together and learn from and with each other. On 11th October, the 4th CEO Forum was held in Accra, Ghana and brought together young leaders from across the continent whose organisations are making positive changes within their communities. The leaders themselves proved to be dedicated and innovative and they brought all of this energy with them to the meeting.
The 4 day event was spent discussing various areas of organisational and personal development within women’s rights spaces. The focus was on transformational feminist leadership within their organisations and each of the participants had a rich history and knowledge to share. The CEO forum allows for AWDF to invest in the sort of leadership which will help move our continent forward by investing in leaders whose work we believe in, by helping to strengthen their organisations and communities. This is an innovative way to look at women’s leadership and helps foster both individual and organisational leadership.
The women who were present at the 4 day event brought their zeal, their questions and their curiosity and this in turn helped make the forum lively and responsive to their direct needs. Participants spoke to the importance of coaching and mentoring, and how each individual mentor exhibited great skills at this. Deborah Ahenkorah, Founder of Golden Baobab remarked that “Hope Chigudu( One of the Mentors) is someone who is committed to nurturing the potential she sees in other women.”
Another key aspect of the discussions was how to truly embody feminist egalitarian leadership within their organisations and how to communicate about the work that their organisations did. There was an extensive day’s training in communications, led by Paula Fray of Fray Intermedia, and also on linking coaching to feminism, led by Yene Assegid. Hope Chigudu moderated and led the open discussions with her trademark energy and passion, while AWDF CEO Theo Sowa gave a very insightful and reflective presentation on governance.
The 4 day event helped encourage, reaffirm and strengthen the mentees, and the two-year coaching programme will continue to build on the foundation that was set during the CEO forum.