First VOKAL Dialogue held in Knysna, South Africa featuring Joyce Banda, former President of Malawi

The first VOKAL Dialogue was held in Knysna South Africa.  The Dialogue was a pilot intended to test the feasibility of holding such dialogues on a regular basis.  The aims of the Dialogue are: 

  1. To celebrate the lives and achievements of iconic African women;
  2. To provide greater access to these women as a source of inspiration, knowledge and wisdom;
  3. To offer a space that enables a mutually enriching dynamic and a chance for collaboration beyond the dialogue that optimally links the influence of the iconic featured speaker with the know-how of dialogue participants;

Participants were treated to a 3 hour dialogue (followed by lunch) featuring Dr. Joyce Banda, former president of Malawi as the inaugural dialogue host. Topics of discussion ranged from 1) Dr. Banda’s dramatic story regarding how she became president of Malawi, including the role played by the army; 2) The unique balance African women who aspire to leadership must strike between being a wife and managing an African husband on the one hand and being a leader on the other and this as a marked contrasting model as compared to Western women leaders; 3) Media bias against women politicians; 4) The fact that more African women have reached the highest office than American women as an indication that there may be more hope for gender equality in Africa than in the United States; 5) the role of the private sector in African development; and 6) Climate change and strategies for promoting and developing Africa more sustainably, among other topics.


VOKAL sponsors the Public Lecture of Joyce Banda at Nelson Mandela University

Faculty and Students at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth were treated to an inspiring lecture by Dr. Joyce Banda through VOKAL sponsorship. Dr. Banda was asked to address the topic – Pursuing a Pan Africanist agenda in Southern Africa through a gender lens, particularly emphasizing women empowerment and leadership.


Here are links to news media reports about the event. And see our gallery about both events.


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