Changing the face of leadership in Africa


As election season reaches fever pitch across Europe and electorates debate the qualities of effective political leadership, Camfed shines a light on young women leaders in Africa.


Difficult life circumstances build in people a resilience, willingness to stand up for oneself, and moreover an empathy and a readiness to stand up for others. – Fiona Mavhinga

In her election season blog, Fiona Mavhinga, co-founder of Camfed’s CAMA alumnae network, reflects on what it takes to be a great leader. Focusing on CAMA’s women leaders, she describes how those once among the most marginalised in society are using their life experiences to change the face of leadership in Africa.

Two examples in the political arena are Afishetu Alhassan and Hawa Tambo of Karaga District in northern Ghana.  Born and raised in rural Karaga, Afishetu overcame numerous challenges to get an education, train as a teacher and eventually become the first female Assemblyperson and CAMA member to hold elected office in Ghana. Following in her footsteps, two years ago Hawa was elected to the Karaga District Assembly with strong support from community elders. The first girl in her village to complete secondary school, Hawa has first hand experience of the challenges her constituents face and a deep-seated desire to bring about lasting change. A role model and a trailblazer, Hawa’s story exemplifies what’s possible when girls get the education they need.

Read Fiona Mavhinga’s blog: Election Season Again – How our leaders can look to Africa for inspiration

Read Afishetu’s story

Read Hawa’s story

Watch Hawa's story


Camfed International

Camfed is an international non-profit organisation tackling poverty and inequality by supporting girls to go to school and succeed, and empowering young women to step up as leaders of change. Camfed invests in girls and women in the poorest rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa, where girls face acute disadvantage, and where their empowerment is now transforming communities

Camfed International directory information