Words from Entrepreneurs : Female leadership role on the continent

Uhanan Mimi Musa Executive Director of Young Womens Leadership Initiative

To be a great leader in any field takes knowledge, dedication, persistence, authenticity, passion, confidence and excellent communication skills. The journey to leadership is often lonely and daunting because you are following your mission and adhering to God’s calling and purpose in your life. I believe that the best leaders have firm relentless qualities. Great leaders understand the importance of integrity and ethics in their profession and personal lives. Great leaders also have mastered excellent communication strategies, knowing how to reach people who come from different walks of life, religion, cultures, and more.

Another quality of a great leader is having good problem solving and decision-making skills. Being able to see a problem and quickly find various solutions to that problem regardless of the scale and nature of the problem. Another great quality of a leader is to be personable–being able to relate as well as motivate others. Great leaders are often visionaries, they think outside the box to implement their vision. However, one does not have to be in charge to be a great leader. A great leader can motivate its constituents regardless of position.

Women play a very important role in the economic, social and political development of Africa. Women are already playing a significant role in supporting more committed and transparent leadership in Africa, possibly because they and their families stand to benefit tremendously from improved governance.

Studies have found that there is indeed a link between higher representation of women in government and lower levels of corruption. In order for African countries to improve in governance, it will require free and fair elections that place truly committed leaders both men and women equally who are accountable to their citizens.

It will also require empowering African women as leaders and advocates and removing the administrative, legal and traditional barriers that impede their success. As policy-makers, women can bring a distinctive and new perspective to decision-making. Their role as care-givers in their families has got them ensuring that resources education and health are spent wisely. There are countries that have effectively emerged from conflict to through the leadership of women, such as Liberia and Mozambique. These countries have shown that putting women at the wheel of recovery and reconciliation can turn even the most impoverished countries into beacons of growth and development in the fight against poverty.

From an Economic perspective, Women run an estimated 48% of medium and small size business. When women have access to education, leadership and political representation, and are able to manage their own finances, their economies thrive, their families thrive, and subsequently their communities thrive as well. Despite the economic development in Africa women still have a lot of challenges to overcome. There are less opportunities for women to put their knowledge, skills and craftsmanship forward.

Women leaders serve as a source of inspiration for other women because of their positions and accomplishment. Their journey serves as a road map or guide for other younger women looking to make the same impact in the future. It is the responsibility of women leaders to give back and ensure that the next generation of women are smarter, greater public servants and more accomplished. That is why I created Young Women’s Leadership Initiative : to Give Women in Leadership positions an opportunity mentor and empower young women. I am who I am today because of women who made it their responsibility to guide and mentor me and I have to give back by doing the same. Before talking about “Women’s right” or “feminism. Isn’t the first step simply supporting women? We all have a role to play.

Bio: Uhanan Mimi Musa is the Executive Director of Young Womens Leadership Initiative. A non profit organization that provides empowerment and leadership development for young women and girls from all backgrounds. She is also a self-improvement blogger. She helps people create fulfilling and spiritual lives with her blog posts, products and personal advice. Her tips & tools can be applied immediately to bring meaningful change to one’s business, personal life or organization. Her goal is to motivate, inspire and help others achieve. She has a passion for change and leadership. She is a prospective candidate for a doctorate in strategic Leadership.

Find out more about YWLI : http://www.youngwomensleadershipinitiative.org/

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