New York

20 October 2021

Deputy Secretary-General's video message to Amazon Leadership Initiative's Annual Leadership Forum: 'Black Girl, Your Dreams Are Valid'

Watch the video:

Young African Female Leaders of the Amazon Leadership Initiative,

Across Africa, and around the world, young Black women are leading.

They are creating innovative solutions, driving social progress, inspiring political change and leading the digital transformation.

And they embody the theme of this year´s International Day of the Girl: Digital Generation, Our Generation.

They are women like Carine, a 21-year-old software engineer in Kigali, Rwanda. She designs apps to encourage savings and financial independence, and mentors other young female programmers.

They are women like Nina, a 25-year-old computer scientist and anti-racist hacker in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She interviews female scientists from both Brazil and Africa on her podcast. And hosts cybersecurity, entrepreneurship and social movement workshops for communities across Brazil.

And they are like all of you. Young women and girls who have joined today’s Forum.

We, as the older generation, need your ideas and insights as we collaborate on innovative solutions to the problems of our time.

We can learn from you. And we stand with you and beside you, supporting, partnering, and actively listening to your ideas, concerns and dreams.

Young women need and deserve role models who can inspire. Mentors who can help them develop and strengthen their self-confidence and leadership skills. And sponsors who can ensure that these skills are put to good use through concrete opportunities to contribute meaningfully to your communities and societies.

That’s what this Forum is all about.

So let’s work together so that the dreams of Black girls become the innovations that transform the continent — and our world — into a more peaceful, prosperous and inclusive place for all people.

I wish you a fruitful and collaborative forum.

Thank you.