Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), the first Africa-wide grant-making foundation recently celebrated its 10th Anniversary in grand style to recognize and celebrate its status as a leading feminist philanthropic institution on the continent.
Hundreds of women from across converged in Accra to partake in forums and activities to herald a decade of inspiration and empowerment for women of Africa.
In June 2000, the African Women’s Development Fund was launched through the efforts of its co-founders, Joana Foster (Ghana), Dr Hilda Tadria (Uganda) and Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi (Nigeria). AWDF is Over the past 10 years, AWDF has disbursed over US$15 million in grants to 800 African women’s rights organizations across the African continent and through its comprehensive capacity building programme strengthened institutions and progressive movements on the continent.
The 10th Anniversary celebrations commenced with the commissioning of a multi-purpose resource centre purchased by AWDF for Women United Against AIDS in Ghana (WUAGG), at Ayensu River Estate, Damfa. The Honourable Stephen Lewis, Co-Director of AIDS Free World and former UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa commissioned the building.
Later in the evening a forum was convened on African women using the arts to promote social justice and a Premiere of ‘The Motherland Tour’ with Special Guest Yvonne Chaka Chaka at the Holiday Inn Hotel.
The festivities continued the following day with a Seminar on Political Participation with Special Guest, Vice-President Joyce Banda of Malawi at La Palm Royal Hotel; as well as the AWDF’s Anniversary Lecture delivered by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia.
The three-day celebrations culminated in a grand dinner dubbed, The Purple Ball and Women of Substance Awards honouring African women working tirelessly to make a difference in their communities. The AWDF’s Women of Substance Awardees included:
Abeka Perez – Young Women Campaign Against AIDS, Kenya
Felicia Darkwa – Nana Yaa Memorial Trust for Good Quality Reproductive Health, Ghana
Hadijah Kisembo – Disabled Women’s Network and Resource Organisation (DWNRO), Uganda
Kafui Adjamgbo-Johnson – Women in Law and Development, (WILDAF) Togo
Leymah Gbowee – Women Peace and Security Network Africa, (WIPSEN-Africa), Liberia
Nyoka Agnes – Member of Parliament, Sudan
Prof. Bene Madunagu – Girls’ Power Initiative, Nigeria
Prudence Mabele – Positive Women’s Network (PWN), South Africa
Dr Rose Mensah Kutin – Abantu for Development, Ghana
Special guests from across Africa, Europe and the United States are attending AWDF’s 10th Anniversary activities in Accra, including:
Her Excellency, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia
Her Excellency, Vice President Joyce Banda, Malawi
Her Excellency Mrs Funmilayo Olayinka, Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Nigeria
Her Excellency, Mrs Abimbola Fashola, First Lady of Lagos State, Nigeria
Her Ladyship Justice Irene Charity Danquah, Justice of the Court of Appeal, Ghana
Honourable Stephen Lewis, Co-Director, AIDS Free World, United States of America
Honourable Akua Dansua, Minister for Youth & Sports, Ghana
Honourable Juliana Azumah-Mensah, Minister for Women & Children’s Affairs, Ghana
Honourable Hannah Tetteh, Minister for Trade & Industry, Ghana
Minister Varbah Gayflor, Minister for Gender & Development, Liberia
Dr Adhiambo Odaga, West Africa Representative, Ford Foundation, Nigeria.