In March 2017, Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda, former President of Malawi and Founder of the Joyce Banda Foundation, launched her paper, “From Day One: An Agenda for Advancing Women Leaders in Africa” as the crux of her research while serving as a Distinguished Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center. To achieve this end, Dr. Banda published “From Day One: An Agenda for Advancing Women in Africa” which details the history of women’s leadership in Africa and some of the challenges and opportunities women face on their leadership journey. The paper includes five key recommendations for promoting women’s leadership in Africa:
1) Enhance political will to empower girls, and appoint qualified women to leadership positions
2) Mobilize rural leadership, families, and communities to promote the change of mindsets and behavior around women and girls
3) Strengthen networks between current and emerging leaders
4) Allocate resources towards data collection and analysis, and research around women and leadership
5) Create the legal environment to advance women in positions of leadership
In the second phase of her research, Dr. Banda spearheaded the creation of a toolkit to provide actionable steps to implement the recommendations.