The second Forum for African Women Leaders at Yale University comes to an end


The second Forum for African Women Leaders at Yale University comes to an end

This initiative, organised by Women for Africa (Mujeres por África) in collaboration with Yale University and supported by Santander Bank through Santander Universities, comes to a close with a series of interviews with personalities in American politics.

Washington, 22nd April, 2016. The second “Forum for Strategic Leadership”, in which eleven major female leaders from six African countries have taken part, ends today. It has been seven intense days in which the challenges facing the international community and the leading role that women must play in solving them have been at the heart of talks, debates and, in the last two days, interviews with key politicians in Washington.

The women participating in the forum were Shitaye Minale, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, and Maeza Ashenafi, a judge and women’s rights activist, from Ethiopia; Julia Duncan Cassell, Minister of Gender and Development, and Gloria Scott, former President of the Supreme Court and Chairperson of the Constitutional Review Committee, from Liberia; Aminata Toure, former Prime Minister, and Awa Niang, a Member of the National Assembly of Senegal; Sophia Wambura, a judge of the Supreme Court of Tanzania; Faouzia Charfi, former Secretary of State for Education, and Neila Chaabane, former Secretary of State for Women’s Affairs from Tunisia; Victoria Sekitoleko, former Agriculture Minister, and Maria Kiwanuka, a former Minister of Finance from Uganda.

Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, president of the Women for Africa Foundation and former Deputy Prime Minister of Spain, also took part in the meeting, speaking at the opening session accompanied by Eduardo Garrido, the director of Santander Universities in the United States.

The first part of the forum was held at Yale University, headed by Elizabeth Bradley, the director of the Global Health Leadership Institute, and lecturers from the university. A passionate talk was also given by the Member of the House of Representatives and active advocate for women’s rights, Rosa DeLauro.

These sessions addressed issues such as the economy, globalisation, governance, transparency, leadership, strategy, the strengthening of democracy and its institutions, the response to climate change and other major contemporary challenges.

For the final section of the forum the participants travelled to Washington, where they held a series of meetings with leading figures from US politics such as the Attorney General, Loretta Lynch; the Adviser on Women’s and Girl’s Affairs to the presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Jennifer Clein; the Spokeswoman for the Democrats in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi; as well as senior National Security Council members like Catherine Byrne, the Director for African Affairs; Mary Beth Goodman, the Director for Development and Democracy; and Stephen Pomper, the Director of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights. They were welcomed on behalf of the White House by Valerie Jarrett, Adviser to the US President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement, and Tina M. Tchen, Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.

This initiative by the Women for Africa Foundation and Yale University has the backing of Santander Bank within the context of the collaboration that the bank has maintained with both institutions for several years through Santander Universities.

Santander Bank is the company that invests most in supporting education in the world (Varkey/UNESCO-Fortune 500 Report), via Santander Universities. It has 1,200 agreements for collaboration with universities and academic institutions around the world. More information:


Yale University Communications

Adam Gaber 

(+1) 203 436 5449  


Women for Africa (Mujeres por África)

Ana Salado

+34 659 90 86 24


Santander Universities Global Communications 

Ana Núñez - Sonia Pérez - Marta Gallardo - Ignacio Marín

+34 615 90 29 46 | +34 615 90 74 04 | +34 615 371 838 | +34 615 901 256

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