The Women and Girls Africa Summit (WAGS) is back to discuss women’s rights in Africa – this time for a virtual conference bringing together participants across the continent.
WAGS is a free event that amplifies the voices of African women and girls and centers them in finding the solutions to challenges they face. More than 3,500 people have already registered for the summit, which will include 150 speakers and 25 sessions on health, the economy, education, safety and security, and the environment.
November 16 – November 18, 2020
Registration and more information about the event is available at:
With the theme “Realizing the Power of Africa’s Future” the summit will bring the voices of African women and girls to the fore and develop programs and institutions that prepare and position them for leadership and as agents of their own self-determination.
“Women’s rights are human rights. The time has come for women and girls in Africa to lock arms with women and girls around the world to tackle the issues they face,” said Akudo Anyanwu, Founder, Friends Africa.
“Africa’s socio-economic transformation will only be realized once we aggressively address gender-specific challenges, prioritize gender equality and women’s participation, and firmly entrench women in leadership positions at all levels in society,” articulated Her Excellency Graça Machel.
The summit could not come at a more critical time, given the growing challenges women and girls face amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to risks to their health, African women and girls are also dealing with a drop in household income and growing domestic violence. The summit will address these challenges that are exacerbated by COVID-19.
“Solutions need to be designed based on women’s experiences. A maternal death is not one single moment, it’s about a woman’s access to quality care and information before she even gets pregnant. It’s about strengthening the entire health system around her and understanding the realities she is facing in her community,” stated Mary-Ann Etiebet, Lead and Executive Director, MSD for Mothers.
The summit sessions will also amplify the objectives of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, the Maputo Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Beijing +25, and UN Security Council Resolution 1325-all important policies and roadmaps towards the achievement of gender equality, development and peace for women and girls globally.
“It’s an honour to participate in this year’s summit and I am delighted to join other panelists to share ideas and best practices for empowering women and girls across Southern Africa as we build resilient societies” expressed Maria Olanda Bata, Chief of Party of the USAID Resilient Waters Program implemented by Chemonics International Inc.
WAGS is heartened by the overwhelming public and private sector supporters of the event and hopes to harness the expertise and political will of all its partners to move the needle on the empowerment of women and girls in Africa.
Among others, WAGS thanks the Graça Machel Trust, UN Women, UNICEF, MSD for Mothers, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, African Women Development Fund, African Leadership Institute, PACT, UNFPA, Chemonics International Inc., and EngenderHealth.
The summit also aims to facilitate Africa’s openness to equity. Thus, the summit organizers invite key industries to join in discussions about investing in and ensuring that Africa realizes its full potential on issues like climate change, reproductive health, and the development of socially responsible enterprises. WAGS’ objective is to activate change agents in communities across the continent of Africa and empower them with the resources to implement actions that will help countries across the development continuum.
“Summit sessions will cover diversity and equity in health, climate, education, and the economy – all priorities as African nations address the COVID pandemic and work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Traci L. Baird, President and CEO of EngenderHealth, one of the summit’s sponsors.