AFROSAI-GIZ Women Leadership Academy is launched in Gabon

Written by Julia Bastian and Thérèse Ngo Bayamack

Sixteen African women leaders, from French-speaking and English-speaking supreme audit institutions, met in Libreville, Gabon, in late February 2016, for the launch of the AFROSAI-GIZ Women Leadership Academy.

The Women Leadership Academy (WLA) is a twelve month training programme for women leaders working in supreme audit institutions (SAIs) in Africa, implemented by the African Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI), GIZ’s Good Financial Governance in Africa programme (GFG) and GIZ’s Academy for International Cooperation (AIZ). The academy forms part of the implementation of the AFROSAI Gender Strategy adopted at the network’s General Assembly in Egypt in 2014. The academy aims at strengthening the participants’ skills in strategic thinking and change management.

The sixteen intellectuals originate from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia. They will work on their respective leadership skills as well as share their experiences in three workshops held in Gabon, Germany and South Africa. During the course of the programme, participants are expected to put into action strategic reform projects in their SAIs with the objective of increasing the visibility of their leadership skills.  They will also receive coaching from mentors on how to do so. Each participant selected a female mentor based in a leadership position who will give support in the development of her personal career.

During the official launch, one of the Gabonese mentors, Mrs. Denise Mekam'ne Edzidzi, State Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, together with the President of the Constitutional Court of Gabon, Mrs. Marie Madeleine Mborantsuo, gave a very insightful inaugural lecture on "issues and perspectives of female leaders on the African continent", drawing on their personal experiences as women in leadership positions in Gabon.

Her lecture complemented the opening remarks of the First President of the Court of Auditors of Gabon, the Minister-Delegate at the Presidency of Cameroon for Supreme Audit in her function as General Secretary of AFROSAI, and the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Gabon.

The opening WLA workshop offered the participants:

  • a meeting and exchange platform where they were able to get to know each other and share their experiences as leaders,
  • an introduction to the concept of leadership and an evaluation of their own leadership styles (LIGO method),
  • the possibility to reflect on the specific challenges their SAIs are facing,
  • the opportunity to experiment with leadership and project management tools,
  • time to refine the steps needed for implementation of their strategic reform projects in their sending SAI,
  • the opportunity to experience the working reality of one of their peers as the SAI of Gabon invited the women leaders to assist with the oath ceremony of new public accountants as well as to exchange with their Gabonese colleagues.

With these insights gained at the launch of the twelve month WLA programme, the participants are now ready to start their planned reform projects back in their home countries. In June they will report back on progress made during a ten day workshop in Germany.

The Good Financial Governance in Africa programme is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union (EU).

Contacts:

  • Dr. Barbara Dutzler, barbara.dutzler@giz.de
  • Julia Bastian, julia.bastian@giz.de
                                                        
The sixteen women leaders who are participating in the pilot WLA showing their strength. (Photo: GIZ)
                                                        
The State Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research holding her inaugural speech (Photo: GIZ)
                                                        
The participants experiment with new facilitation techniques during the Gabon workshop. (Photo: GIZ)
                                                        
Josephine Achieng Odhiambo, 43 years, Assistant Manager - Audit, National Audit Office