For the records: Speech delivered by President Leading Women of Africa Group Madelein Mkunu at symposium and award ceremony held on Saturday November 18,2023 in Johannesburg, South Africa

Title: The inclusive approach to Africa’s development

Her Excellency, H.E. Fatoumata Jahumpa Ceesay, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to South Africa and SADC H.E Mrs. Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde, Former Speaker, SA Parliament Dr. Pali Lehohla, Director of Economic Modelling Academy (EMA), Former Statistician-General of SA

Distinguished speakers and delegates, Ladies and gentlemen, All protocols observed!

I will start my speech with a quote from late 1st President of Zambia, Dr Kenneth Kaunda:

The 21st century is the time for men to look at women as equal partner in political, social and economic development”. Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, First President of Zambia & LWA Patron Dr Kaunda Believed in an inclusive approach to socioeconomic development of our continent.

And to keep his legacy alive, Leading Women of Africa (LWA) will continue to showcase the efforts produced by men and women in the process of achieving gender equality as a key in a solid foundation in the Africa we want. The platform will encourage more men and women to work together as partners for development.

The Future is Female and Male Champions Awards, will be a powerful tool to encourage men and women leaders to play a meaningful role in the attainment of the AU agenda 2063 which has aspirations to see Africa as a continent where all citizens live in prosperity.

The platform will encourage more men and women to work together as partners for development.

For the Awardees tonight, I would like to congratulate you for promoting inclusiveness by supporting women and empowering them to become key development agents in your countries.

Africa is in need of true leaders who will contribute to the development and prosperity of Africans, and you here tonight have chosen to live a sacrificial life in order to leave a lasting legacy.

As the LWA Awardees we invite you to carry the flag of leadership and continue to be a role model to the others and to the next generation. For female Awardees: I want to believe that you will cherish this small token of encouragement and you will continue to empower and collaborate with other women so we can form an army of women economic activists ready to change this continent for better.

For male Champions: May this token of appreciation reminds you that men alone, without women, will never be able to take Africa forward. However, in collaboration with Women, we can fasttrack the development of our beloved continent.

To all of you, the token you will receive tonight might not be in GOLD or SILVER but it contains the value that no money can buy. We wish you all the best in all your endeavours and May you continue to carry the baton of leadership for many years to come and be the CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE.

I thank you

Madelein Mkunu is President Leading Women of Africa Group

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