Sector:

Reflections from the ACN Networks Gathering and the Future of the ACN Women’s Forum

The recent ACN gathering was a highlight of my 2023, offering transformative discussions and lasting connections. As the President of the ACN Women’s Forum, the experience was enlightening, emphasizing the significance of “A Network Of Networks For A Bold And Inclusive Africa”. 

At the core of the ACN gathering were spirited discussions where diverse voices shaped a collective vision for the future. Engaging with thought leaders provided invaluable insights into inclusion, leadership, and talent building for Africa. The exchange of ideas underscored the power of collaboration in driving meaningful change across the continent. 

Among the numerous connections made, luminaries like Dr. Celestin and Monalisa Haile left an indelible mark. Conversations with Dr. Celestin revealed innovative approaches to transition programs for undergraduate students, while Monalisa Haile’s passion for women empowerment inspired a renewed commitment to social impact. 

The ACN Women’s Forum evening with the L’Oréal Foundation celebrated the resilience and achievements of women in the sciences. Keynote addresses and networking sessions encapsulated the spirit of solidarity and collaboration, highlighting the unwavering commitment of the L’Oréal Foundation to fostering an environment where women thrive in scientific research and academic pursuits. 

Reflecting on these enriching experiences, it’s clear there’s a need for a robust support system beyond professional milestones, especially for young women. Discussions emphasized the barriers faced by youth and women in diverse sectors, emphasizing the need for collective efforts to dismantle these obstacles. 

By Samantha Katsande (Mastercard Foundation Scholar)

Looking ahead, the ACN Women’s Forum promises to continue this momentum with the official launch and upcoming activities fostering collaboration, skill-building, and mentorship. As we anticipate these initiatives, the vision of a bold and inclusive Africa becomes increasingly tangible, fueled by the interconnectedness of diverse networks working towards a common goal. 

In conclusion, the ACN gathering was not just an event but a catalyst for change—a convergence of ideas, experiences, and aspirations propelling Africa towards a future marked by boldness and inclusivity. As we navigate this network of networks, the promise of a vibrant and interconnected Africa beckons, waiting to be woven by the collective efforts of its diverse constituents. 

By Samantha Katsande (Mastercard Foundation Scholar)

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