Peter Salovey, Yale President, with Nana Oye Bampoe Addo
Peter Salovey, Yale President, with Nana Oye Bampoe Addo

African women leaders at Yale for strategic impact forum

The 2023 cohort of participants in the Leadership Forum for Strategic Impact of Yale University, United States of America (USA), a key programme of the Yale Africa Initiative, have met to advance the cause of women leaders on the African continent. 


The programme aims to enhance the knowledge and skills of senior African women leaders who already have attained important positions within their nations’ governments, as well as to grow a network across Africa to further amplify women’s effectiveness and influence.

This year’s participants were made up of twelve women leaders from eleven African countries that is Ghana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, The Gambia, The Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone and included two former Ministers and a senior official from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).


The Forum was launched in 2015 with support from Fundación Mujeres por África (Women for African Foundation) and Banco Santander and is sponsored by Yale’s Office of International Affairs.

Each cohort of the programme brings together highly influential, public service-minded women from African countries on a spring visit to Yale for wide-ranging discussions on governance, leadership and equitable economic development.

This year’s programme marked the return to in-person gatherings after virtual convenings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before that, a gathering was held in Nigeria in January 2020.

This year’s programme featured intensive, seminar-styled discussion sessions, presentations and an interactive simulation exercise.

Throughout the forum, participants discussed key issues women faced in leadership roles around the world, sharing perspectives from their work in senior roles in governments across Africa.

Programme components presented by Yale faculty and leading practitioners focused on leadership, grand strategy, pressing issues across the continent and tackling critical challenges.


The participants were María Teresa Fernández de la Vega (President, Women for Africa Foundation); Caddy Adzuba (The Democratic Republic of the Congo); Hibaaq Osman (Somalia); Edith Kah Walla (Cameroon); Fatoumata Jallow Tambajang (The Gambia); Julia Duncan Cassell (Liberia); Nana Oye Bampoe Addo (Ghana); Obiageli Katryn Ezekwesili (Nigeria); Comfort Sonaiya (Nigeria); Rasmata Compaoré (Burkina Faso); Fatou Sarr Sow (Senegal); Finda Koroma (Sierra Leone); and Fatimetou Mohamed Saleck (Islamic Republic of Mauritania).

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