Fellowship ProgramInnovation In Leadership

Young Brainy Women Making a Change

By February 3, 2015 No Comments

Guest post by Kijani Media

These past two weeks I had the privilege of spending some time with some phenomenal young women whose mission is to support girls and young women who are making a change in their communities. Akili Dada’s mission is “to nurture transformative leadership in girls and young women from underprivileged backgrounds to meet the urgent need for more African women in leadership”.

‘Akili’ is the Swahili word for brain but also means the mind. ‘Dada’ on the other hand means sister. The two words combined mean – to me – ‘Brainy Sisters’, and they are, indeed, very intelligent young ladies. So intelligent they are, I asked them to accept me as an honorary sister. No, am just kidding.

The reason I was hanging out with them is because I was training the Akili Dada team (all female) on Project Management and I also had the privilege to meet and train the 2014 Akili Dada Fellows who have been incubated in a one-year programme to pursue various social entrepreneurial and social good projects. I can tell you that these young fellows are also phenomenal.

In the past 1 year – the current programme cycle ends in March – Akili Dada have incubated the young social entrepreneurs by providing training and seed funding to help them pursue diverse projects ranging from making water purifiers to mentoring teenage girls in urban slums. And they have done a good job. You only need to listen to the 2014 Fellows to see this.

Between 19th and 21st January, I was training the Akili Dada team on project management. They are a young team, not only in individual age (most are in their early to mid 20s) but also as a team, having been in operation since 2006.

Here is a photo of the team getting active in one of our interactive sessions:

Following a successful project management training, Akili Dada’s Director of Innovation and Leadership, Joyce Ngumba, tasked me to train her outgoing 2014 Fellows in communication. That brought me into contact with the bright young women doing great things in their communities.

During the training, I also got to meet the new 2015 Fellows, and from my brief interaction with them, I know they are going to lead their communities into great things. I will be meeting them again in March for project management training – I cant wait.

With such people as Akili Dada – led by Executive Director Purity Kagwiria – the future of women leaders in Africa looks bright. I am now converted (I think I have always been) to the cause of advancing women leadership in the world.