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Women are Proving to Be Great Leaders During COVID-19. Is this the Pathway to Power?


Her Excellency, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila

Prime Minister of the Republic of Namibia

Honourable Saara Naandjila Kuugongelwa-Amadhila is the current Prime Minister of Namibia.

She obtained her first Degree, a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, from Lincoln University, USA in 1994 and a Master’s Degree in Financial Economics from the London School of Economics in 1998.

She was awarded with an honorary doctorate in Public Finance by the University of Namibia in 2015, and an honorary doctorate degree ‘Doctor of Laws’ from Lincoln University in 2016.

Dr Kuugongelwa-Amadhila worked as the Director-General of the National Planning Commission from 1995 until 2003 when she was appointed Minister of Finance, a position she held until March 2015 when she became Namibia’s first female Prime Minister. In terms of the Namibian Constitution, the Prime Minister is the Leader of Government Business in Parliament and coordinates the work of the Cabinet as Head of Government Administration.

She served in various regional and international bodies as Governor or Council Member such as the International Monetary Fund/World Bank, African Union, African Development Bank, Afrexim Bank, Commonwealth, Southern Africa Development Community and Southern African Customs Union (SACU).

Her Excellency, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

Executive Director of UN Women, Former Deputy President of South Africa

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. She was sworn into office on 19 August 2013 and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this position, having devoted her career to issues of human rights, equality and social justice. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka has worked in government and civil society, and with the private sector, and was actively involved in the struggle to end apartheid in her home country of South Africa.

From 2005 to 2008, she served as Deputy President of South Africa, overseeing programmes to combat poverty and bring the advantages of a growing economy to the poor, with a particular focus on women. Prior to this, she served as Minister of Minerals and Energy from 1999 to 2005 and Deputy Minister in the Department of Trade and Industry from 1996 to 1999. She was a Member of Parliament from 1994 to 1996 as part of South Africa’s first democratic government.

Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka began her career as a teacher and gained international experience as a coordinator at the World YWCA in Geneva, where she established a global programme for young women. She is the founder of the Umlambo Foundation, which supports leadership and education. A longtime champion of women’s rights, she is affiliated with several organizations devoted to education, women’s empowerment and gender equality.

She has completed her PhD on education and technology at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom.

Oby Ezekwesili

Senior Economic Adviser, Africa Economic Development Policy Initiative, Former Minister of Education of Nigeria and Former Vice President Africa Region of World Bank

Obiageli Ezekwesili popularly known as Oby Ezekwesili is a Nigerian chartered accountant, economic policy expert and senior economic advisor. She served twice as a Minister in Nigeria, and was the Vice President of World Bank, African Region (2007-2012). Also, she was a presidential candidate for the 2019 presidential election but stepped down from the presidential race in January, 2019.

Oby is the pionner of the #BringBackOurGirls movement and the #RedCardMovement. She co-founded Transparency International, and served as the pioneer director on the global board from 1994 – 1999. Since the time of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Oby Ezekwesili has served in multiple financial capacity and made remarkable economic reforms in Nigeria.

Oby Ezekwesili is a woman of valour who has made outstanding contributions to Africa. Her time at World Bank helped the organisation understand how they can best serve African’s interest. 

Oby has received many awards over her career, including being honoured with a national award – Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2006.

Anne Juuko

Chief Executive, Stanbic Bank, Uganda

Anne brings on board a wealth of experience in the financial industry with regionally and global expertise in banking for 20 years. She has been a part of the Standard Bank Group for over 8 years having joined as Head of Global Markets for Stanbic Bank Uganda and was later appointed Head of Corporate and Investment Banking at Standard Bank, Namibia.

Anne Juuko holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and a master’s degree in Strategic Planning from the Herriot Watt Business School in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Anne started her banking career in 2001, worked in various roles before being appointed as Vice President, Head Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities at Citibank Uganda Limited and was later seconded to Citibank Kenya as Vice President, Customer Sales and Derivatives Marketing. She later joined Stanbic Bank Uganda in 2012.

Throughout her career, Anne has exhibited exemplary performance, winning the highly coveted accolades such as the Primary Dealer of the Year award for 6 consecutive years. She has also demonstrated exceptional leadership and stellar performance that will see her set to achieve Stanbic Bank Uganda’s strategy and vision.

Suzan Kereere

Global Head of Merchant Sales & Acquiring, VISA Inc.

Uganda-born, Suzan heads the Global Merchant Sales & Acquiring organization at Visa. She is responsible for helping Visa’s merchant and acquiring clients grow by being their preferred partner to enable secure, digital commerce for current and future generations of buyers and sellers. Suzan’s remit spans Visa’s merchant acquiring partners around the world, giving her a truly global view of the business and her team. 

Suzan has built her career in the Payments industry across a spectrum of disciplines including finance, global operations, servicing and business development. She has managed both business-to-business and consumer segments to drive topline growth and profitability. She has also lead global businesses & teams in Europe, Australia, Asia & North America. She has brought her passion for people and cultivating diverse talent to all her positions.

Her track record as a business leader is reflected in the breadth of her roles. At American Express, she managed relationships with Fortune 100 merchants where she negotiated complex commercial agreements that launched innovative technologies including reward points as currency and multi-billion dollar business-to-business growth partnerships. As the head of the Global Network organization, she also led the strategy & execution of their migration to EMV and launch of contactless payments. Most recently, Suzan led the Europe Merchant Sales & Acquiring team at Visa where she was responsible for the growth strategies and innovation with Europe’s top merchants and acquirers.

Suzan holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA in Economics from Tufts University. She serves as a non-executive Director on the board of Grange Insurance Company, a Columbus, OH based Mutual company. Suzan has also served on the board of several non-profits, including the National Retail Federation Foundation, the US Travel Association, the American Red Cross (NY Chapter) and the Zawadi Africa Educational Fund.

Suzan lives in London with her husband and two daughters.

Natasha Wang Mwansa

Women Deliver Young Leader

Natasha is the youngest recipient of the Global Health Leaders award worldwide awarded by the World Health Organisation in recognition of her work towards adolescent health for over six years and after her awe striking speech on what young people want during the opening of the 72nd World Health Assembly.

Born on the 3rd of May, 2001, Natasha is a powerful and influential Zambian young woman who speaks out on issues affecting the health and well-being of young people.

She is a Junior Reporter and Journalist. Additionally she is a health, women and young people’s rights activist and advocate.

She is also a Women Deliver 2018 Young Leader and the founder and the Executive Director of the Natasha Mwansa Foundation, a foundation that aims to see a world in which Young People are heard, valued, healthy and given the opportunity to share power with stakeholders and influence decisions made over them. Additionally, her work has led her to sit on the African Union Commission’s Youth Advisory Board, she was picked as the United Nation’s Population Fund’s Youth Ambassador and she is a Social Accountability Monitor and a first year student at the University of Zambia. Her goal is to be the voice to the voiceless and equip them to realise that they too have a voice and ought to be heard.