H.E. Dr. Joyce Banda, a 2015 2015 IWF South Africa Legacy Award honoree, was named to the list of Africa’s most influential politicians by African Leadership magazine.
H.E. Dr. Joyce Banda is former President of the Republic of Malawi (2012-2014), serving as the country’s first female President and Africa’s second. An entrepreneur, activist, politician, and philanthropist, she was recognized as Africa’s “Most Powerful Woman” by Forbes magazine for two consecutive years. Before becoming President of Malawi, Banda served as a Member of Parliament; Minister of Gender and Child Welfare; and Foreign Minister and Vice President of the Republic of Malawi. While serving as Minister of Gender and Child Welfare, Banda championed the enactment of the Prevention of Domestic Violence Bill in 2006, which provides a legal framework for the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.
A recipient of more than fifteen international accolades, including the “Hunger Project Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger” shared with President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique in 1997, Banda is a strong advocate for women’s and girls’ emancipation and empowerment and a prominent civil rights campaigner. She established the Joyce Banda Foundation International, which guides projects that range from empowering women to providing education for orphans.
On the international scene, Banda was instrumental in the formation of such organizations as the African Federation of Women Entrepreneurs (AFWE), currently running in forty-one countries in Africa; the Council for the Economic Empowerment of Women in Africa (CEEWA); and the American and African Business Women’s Alliance (AABWA) of which she served as its first President. Banda serves on a number of international organizations, including the Executive Advisory Committee of UNIFEM, the Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health, and the Scientific Advisory Board for the program in Global Health and Social Change at Harvard Medical School. In addition to her Legacy Award she was a featured speaker at the 2015 IWF World Cornerstone Conference in South Africa where she addressed the plenary session, “Closing the Opportunity Gap – Jobs, Education, Enterprise… Powering Up Africa’s Future.”
Read coverage on the announcement in Malawi’s Nyasa Times here.