Read about her Appointment
“Governments, academic institutions, and the private sector must actively work together to remove barriers facing women so that they can attain positions of leadership. Akilah offers an important success story in this regard. By selecting promising young women, providing them with intensive leadership training, and partnering with the private sector to prepare them for careers in Africa’s fastest-growing industries, Akilah has pioneered a new and effective method for women’s education.”
- Dr. Joyce Banda
“I am tirelessly researching, documenting, and raising my voice for the education of the African girl-child and the empowerment of women,” Dr. Banda wrote in her acceptance of the appointment. “You can therefore count on my commitment in the task before me.”
MORE FROM DR. BANDA
Center for Global Development
About Dr. Joyce Banda
Dr. Joyce Banda was the President of the Republic of Malawi from 2012 to 2014. She was Malawi’s first female president and Africa’s second. She is also an entrepreneur, activist, politician, and philanthropist. In 1997, she received the Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger, alongside the President of Mozambique, and used the prize money to launch the Joyce Banda Foundation International, which has started three schools and provided an education to more than 3,500 girls. Dr. Banda was instrumental in the formation of the African Federation of Women Entrepreneurs, the Council for the Economic Empowerment of Women in Africa, and the American & African Business Women’s Alliance. Forbes Magazine recognized her as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world.
President Banda holds a M.A. in Leadership from the Royal Rhodes University of Canada, a B.S. in Gender Studies from Atlantic International University (U.S.), and a Diploma in NGO Management from the International Labor Organization Center in Turin, Italy. Jeonju University of South Korea conferred an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Economics on Dr. Banda in January 2013, and Wheelock College conferred an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Education on her in May 2015.