Empowering Women Leaders

52 women leaders from Kenya and Uganda have successfully completed the Women Leadership Academy, a programme hosted by the Aga Khan University’s Institute for Human Development (IHD).

The women – 26 from each country – drawn from civil society said the programme had an impact on their lives.

“The call to join the Aga Khan University Women Leadership Academy (WLA) came at a time when I was in transition. I had just left the banking sector to get into non-profit. As a result, I was in a space where I needed a lot of support. WLA exposed me to a pool of experts who would guide me appropriately irrespective of the information that I sought. Whether I needed information on fundraising, resource mobilization or general guidance, I had access to people who would help me,” said Patricia Njeri.​​

Santa Kagendo sharing her reflections from the programme said, “WLA was the perfect opportunity for me. In the six months of taking the programme, I have grown in confidence and learned to really love myself no matter what. As a result, I have added responsibilities that include a job promotion and two additional donors in my organization. My workload has increased but I thank God because through this Academy I have learned how to appropriately delegate to promote efficient work flow.”

Funded by Global Affairs Canada and Aga Khan Foundation Canada, The Women Leadership Academy was initiated to empower upcoming women leaders within civil society. The first cohort of the programme was launched in Kenya, Uganda and Pakistan pending a roll out to other East African and Asian countries.

The women who have completed the programme will join an alumni network where they will continue to interact and have discussions on mutually agreed topics. The alumni network will facilitate peer learning, conversations with women leaders, mentorship sessions and provide a platform for participants to share available opportunities.

In her address to the women leaders, Prof Amina Abubakar, IHD Director said, “WLA was envisioned to provide a skill building and networking opportunity. The networking was designed to go beyond the six months when the programme is taking place and strengthen at the alumni phase with the hope of sparking an interest in you to always go for what you want.”

The cohort in Pakistan is set to graduate in May 2023 marking the successful completion of the first roll out of the programme.