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A look back at an interesting dialogue with Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Ferial Haffajee

Our Former Deputy President Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka shared her views on challenges facing women and children in Africa.

On Monday, the 22nd August 2016 we had our second ALI Leadership Initiative Dialogue in the heart of Sandton at Barloworld. For this series, we hosted none other than the former South African Deputy President and current United Nations Under-Secretary-General, who is also the Executive Director of UN Women; Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

This time around, the event was moderated by Ferial Haffajee, and the occasion was graced by the Founder of the Africa Leadership Initiative South Africa Isaac Shongwe, including Noluvo Ngcwabe of Barloworld, as well as the Executive Director of ALI Media, Fiona Musana.

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The discussion took off with 25 ALI Fellows in attendance, and the topic was serious and riveting. The former Deputy President shared her views and experiences on issues of gender, reproductive rights and patriarchy. In accordance with women’s month, she also discussed the United Nation’s take on violence against women, as well as the much needed peace and security for women across the continent. The group touched on issues involving Chibok girls abduction, Kenyan students butchery, and delved into statistics on Southern Africa Rape. Over and above that, education statics for the girl child, trade unions and equal wages for women were discussed in detail, and emphasis was put on the necessities of affordable child care in Africa.

In conclusion

The event was eye-opening and challenging. It gave everyone in the room something to think about regarding the challenges women and children face in our societies. As always, our Fellows had their fair share of comments:

Lulu Letlape“We were stimulated by Phumzile’s passion for the improvement of the plight of women across the world and challenged to ACT as ALI in South Africa in response. Most appropriate conversation during women’s month.”
Lulu Letlape

Dr-Percy-Mahlathi“The session was most relevant for me through the global contextualization of some critical issues that we, in South Africa are faced with. This was through some comparative observation of world order settings e.g. gender issues spanning politics, culture, education and societal aspects of various nations / countries that are biased against women”. Dr Percy Mahlathi

Dr-Mothomang-Diaho“Everybody matters in dealing with these issues”
Dr Mothomang Diaho




Kim-Robinson“Engaging honestly and directly with leaders on the front line provides credible perspective and opens your eyes to the challenges and opportunities for progress. It is not easy, yet it is not all bad.   This is what the dialogue with Dr Mlambo-Ngcuka provided. There are spaces to have a positive influence. I look forward to acting in those spaces.” Kim Robinson

Lisa-Klein“Engaging with Phumzile and other fellows was a wonderful reminder that we are a cohort of ethical leaders who can – and should – pool our resources to deal with key societal issues – such as violence against girls and women.” — Lisa Klein



Lindiwe-Sangweni-Siddo“I have always admired Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and yesterday evening, I had a newfound admiration for her as a role model.  I really would love to work with her so that I could learn how to work and think as she does.  I loved it when she said: “Pretend you are much bigger than you really are and sell your message!” This is something I know I could get better at particularly when convincing partners for funding when your resources are limited. — Lindiwe Sangweni

Thanks to our valued partners and to all the Fellows who continue to contribute in many ways.

  • Aspen Global Leadership Network
  • Yellowwoods
  • Barloworld
  • Tshikululu