When Women Lead Africa: A Roundtable Discussion

Vital Voices Global Partnership

Cordially invites you to a roundtable discussion


Hafsat Abiola-Costello, Eva Muraya, and Kah Walla

We are delighted to welcome Hafsat Abiola-Costello, Eva Muraya and Kah Walla to Vital Voices for a panel discussion on the unique contributions of women’s leadership, changes in public perceptions of women leaders, and the opportunities and challenges for a new model of leadership in Africa.


Monday, May 21, 2012

5:30PM – 7:30PM


Vital Voices Global Partnership

1625 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, 3rd Floor
Washington, DC 20036

Watch live via Ustream



Please email 

[email protected] by Wednesday, May 16, 2012



Carol Lancaster is Dean of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and Vice Chair of the Vital Voices Board of Directors. She is also a professor of politics in the School of Foreign Service with a joint appointment in the Department of Government.

Dr. Lancaster has published numerous books and articles on the politics of foreign aid, the politics of development and development in Africa. Her newest book, George Bush's Foreign Aid: Transformation or Chaos? was published by the Center for Global Development, Washington, DC in 2008. She is currently working on a book entitled Evangelicals and World Poverty.

Dr. Lancaster had an extensive career in government. She was the deputy administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development from 1993 to 1996. She worked at the U.S. State Department as deputy assistant secretary of state for African Affairs from 1980-81 and for the Policy Planning Staff from 1977-80. In addition, she worked for the Office of Management and Budget and for several members of Congress including David Obey (D-Wisconsin), Chair of the Appropriations Committee.



Hafsat Abiola-Costello is a Nigerian human rights, civil rights and democracy activist and founder of Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), an organization established in 1997 to build the capacity of women-led organizations and to develop and implement initiatives dedicated to the advancement of women. KIND was created to honor Hafsat’s mother, Kudirat Abiola, a leading democracy activist killed by soldiers after her husband and elected Nigerian President, Chief Mashood Abiola, was arrested and later assasinated during the period of military rule in Nigeria. The organization’s programs focus on providing political and human rights education training and mentoring for women political leaders and young women aspiring to enter public service. Since 2002, KIND has built a women’s political leadership network of over 5,000 in Nigeria. This incredible story is featured in Vital Voices’ documentary play, SEVEN. Hafsat’s civil rights activism stretches beyond her country’s borders. She helped found the State of the World Forums Emerging Leaders Program and Global Youth Connect, was appointed a Fetzer Fellow and is a member of the Vital Voices Africa Advisory Council. Currently, Hafsat is the Special Advisor, Millennium Development Goals to the Governor at Ogun State, Nigeria.


Eva Muraya is the Founder and CEO of Brand Strategy and Design (EA) Ltd. She holds over 20 years of marketing experience, having managed the regional brand development programs for companies such as FedEx, The Standard Group, Block Hotels, and Xerox. She is best known for her award winning regional branded merchandise business, Color Creations Ltd, which was the first advertising and branding business awarded ISO 9001:2000 certification in East and Central Africa. Currently the Chairperson, Eva Muraya co-founded the Kenya Association of Women Business Owners (KAWBO), a forum for leading businesswomen in Kenya to network, engage on issues affecting their businesses and acquire requisite skills for business growth. KAWBO is also the Kenya Hub for the Africa Businesswomen's Network (ABWN), a partnership between local African businesswomen's associations, Vital Voices and the ExxonMobil Foundation. Currently, Eva is the Chairperson of the Zawadi Africa Education Program, designed to provide scholarships to academically gifted African girls from disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue higher education in the United States. Eva’s business leadership has earned her a variety of awards and prestigious appointments, including the Eve Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, MSK Warrior award, Goldman Sachs Fortune Global Leaders Award 2008, and The International Alliance for Women (TIAW) World of Difference 100 Award. Eva has also participated in many Vital Voices programs including, the 2006 Vital Voices/U.S State Department/Fortune Global Mentoring Program, Leveling the Playing Field, and was a Vital Voices/Gates Leadership and Advocacy Fund grantee for her project to engage businesswomen in economic policy advocacy. Eva is also an active member of the La Pietra Coalition.


Kah Walla, entrepreneur, political leader, and activist is recognized internationally for her expertise in management, and for her commitment to Africa, its development, its women and its youth. In 2011, Kah Walla was a presidential candidate in Cameroon and is known as one of Cameroon’s foremost political leaders and an example of a new generation of leadership throughout Africa. As an entrepreneur, Kah launched her consulting firm, STRATEGIES!, which designs programs to empower professional women and to advocate for women's entrepreneurship and political participation. For over 25 years, Kah has been an activist focused on good governance, the rights of women and youth and the rule of law. She has worked with the civil society in Cameroon and throughout Africa, developing policies and projects at international, national and local levels. Kah is an integral member of Vital Voices Global Leadership Network and has been instrumental in several Vital Voices programs, including Leveling the Playing Field, the Africa Businesswomen’s Network, and the Sandaga Market Women’s Project, where 900 women advocated together to improve conditions, eliminate double taxation and to level the playing field for women in the marketplace.  Kah Walla is also the Co-Chair of the Labor Policy and Practice working group of the La Pietra Coalition and received the 2011 Vital Voices Global Leadership in Public Life Award.

Mar 11