Joyce Banda is New Akilah Institute Honorary Chancellor

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By Julius Rwakarema

Former Malawi President Dr. Joyce Banda

Dr. Joyce Banda, Africa’s second female President has been appointed as Honorary Chancellor at Rwanda’s only college for women, the Akilah Institute for women.

Banda is expected to bring on her wide-ranging experience in gender studies, business, advocacy and political experience in championing of women and girl’s education on the continent.

The former president will sit on Akilah’s executive team and she will play a strategic role in the Akilah Institute’s growth plans and will provide advisory support as the institute identifies new campus locations, diploma programs, and education products to better serve women across Africa.

Akilah Institute said that brining on Banda is part of its sourcing experienced powerful women in Africa to support the institute’s bid to scale up its model across sub-Saharan Africa via a network of new campuses.

Akilah President, Karen Sherman said that given Banda’s staunch commitment to education and her extensive track record in women’s advocacy, the partnership was a very natural one.

“Dr. Banda’s personal mission to empower women aligns with Akilah’s own vision to educate the next generation of women leaders in Africa. She will be a key thought partner as we execute our plans for scale, including opening seven new campuses to serve a collective 53,000 women across Africa.” Sherman said.

Banda and Sherman formalized the partnership on May 31, 2017, with a meeting in Virginia, USA.

“She (Banda) is a role model not only for our students and women in sub-Saharan Africa but also for women around the world and exemplifies the values we seek to instill in our students” Sherman said.

Akilah Institute for women, located in Kibabaga in Kigali city is the only women’s college in Rwanda that provides market-relevant education programs using a competency-based learning model.

Opened in 2010, Akilah offers diplomas in Hospitality Management, Entrepreneurship & Business Management, Information Systems, and more and prepares graduates for meaningful careers and leadership roles.

Akilah’s unique focus on ethical leadership skills, public speaking, and community service equips students with the lifelong knowledge required for personal and professional growth. By 2031, Akilah will serve 53,000 woman across an international network of eight campuses.

About Joyce Banda

Joyce Banda was the president of the Republic of Malawi from 2012 to 2014. She was Malawi’s first female president and Africa’s second. She is also an entrepreneur, activist, politician, and philanthropist.

In 1997, she received the Africa prize for leadership for the sustainable end of hunger, alongside the President of Mozambique, and used the prize money to launch the Joyce Banda Foundation International, which has started three schools and provided an education to more than 3,500 girls.

Banda was instrumental in the formation of the African Federation of Women Entrepreneurs, the Council for the Economic Empowerment of Women in Africa, and the American and African Business Women’s Alliance.

Forbes Magazine recognized her as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world.




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