African Women Leaders at Yale

Women today are the engine of Africa. They produce up to 80% of the food, support 40% of the families and manage 90% of the informal economy. They are making very important strides in the world of politics.

The seminar “Leadership, Governance and Globalization: A Forum for Strategic Impact,” which began yesterday at Yale University, New Haven, USA, aims to strengthen participants’ leadership in this field, which is crucial for the future of their countries. The seminar is organized by the Women for Africa Foundation in collaboration with the university, and with the support of Banco Santander, through Santander Universities.

Ten women, leaders at the highest level of five African countries, are involved in the seminar: Naana Jane Opoku Agyeman, Minister of Education of Ghana, and Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection of Ghana; Maiga Sina Damba, Vice President of the Network of Women Ministers and African Parliamentarians, and Ramatoulaye Diallo Ndiaye, Minister of Culture of Mali; Nouzha Skalli, parliamentarian, and Asma Chaabi, of the International Forum of Women, for Morocco; Obiageli Ezekwesili, former Minister of Education; and Oluremi Sonaiya, candidate for the Presidential Elections in 2015 in Nigeria; Martha Karua, former Minister of Justice, and Naisula Lessuda, a senator, both from Kenya.

The seminar, led by Professor Elizabeth Bradley, Faculty Director of the Global Health Leadership Institute at Yale, will be given by Yale University professors who are specialists in leadership topics, international governance, the economy of globalization, political strategy, citizenship and good governance, among others.

The opening session was held yesterday, it included an introduction by María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, President of the Women for Africa Foundation, and Linda Koch Lorimer, Senior Counselor to the President and Provost, Yale University. The sessions at the university will take place until Friday, May 8, after which the participants in the Forum will be travelling to New York and Washington to hold a series of interviews and meetings with representatives of international prestige in the field of politics and economics.

Banco Santander supports this activity through its Santander Universities corporate area ( For over 18 years, the bank has been working with universities and academic institutions through an initiative which is unique in the world and that distinguishes it from the rest of the bank and financial institutions. It maintains a stable alliance with close to 1,200 academic institutions from all over the world, among them, the Women for Africa Foundation and Yale University, and until 2018 a total of EUR 1,700 million will be allocated in support of higher education projects. In the US, the bank has established for the time being a total of 39 agreements with universities and research centers.