On 16 October 2019 the WA African Women’s Leadership, Empowerment and Development (A-LEAD) program commenced at UWA. A-LEAD is a joint program between AfREC and the Organisation of African Communities in WA (OAC), and is supported by the UWA Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education, the UWA Public Policy Institute and the WA Government Department of Communities.
Launched on International Women’s Day 2019 by the WA Minister for Women’s Interests, Hon. Simone McGurk MLA, A-LEAD is coordinated by OAC Vice-President (Administration) Dr Casty Nyaga as part of the new OAC Women’s Department. The theme of A-LEAD is “Together we influence and empower one another”. The inaugural cohort of A-LEAD participants is comprised of 30 women who are already playing leadership roles in WA African communities. Through building their leadership skills, knowledge and networks, this cohort will not only enhance gender equality and leadership capacity in their respective communities but also benefit wider Western Australian society. Moreover, the inaugural cohort will play an active role in supporting and mentoring the emerging women leaders that are nominated to participate in the second iteration of A-LEAD in 2020-21.
The program format features presentations, interactive workshops, mentor-matching and open forums. Following consultations with WA African communities over several months to ensure program relevance, the agreed program themes include communication, ethical leadership, understanding community leadership and capacity building, conflict resolution, networking, project and event management, emotional intelligence, financial management and planning, and concludes with a group field trip. The inaugural program will run fortnightly at UWA from October 2019 until March 2020, culminating in a graduation ceremony for the first A-LEAD cohort at a special gala event on International Women’s Day 2020.
The inaugural A-LEAD participants are Alice Kemboi Nelson, Marie-Claire Evenor, Liliosa Chambwera, Alberta Sarfoaah, Elizabeth Fornah, Martha Kongor, Salome Mbenjele, Bouah Kardio, Mapalo Kawa Phiri, Esty Gobena, Violet Arrey, Askale Abebe Shifera, Agatha Makova, Manana Johnson, Peddy Chinyamunzore, Maseni Ilunga, Damaris Kyalo, Oludotun Oyewopo, Donoi Bello, Eutropia Denhere, Chocho Karyee, Josephine Kabedi, Agatha Musa, Eva Mwakichako, Nana Kwakwaa Akuoko Tawiah, and Emma Assadi. This cohort includes the winners of the UWA co-sponsored WA African Women in Leadership Award, Bouah Kardio (2018) and Violet Arrey (2019), as part of the OAC’s WA African Community Awards (WAACA).