The Graça Machel Trust (GMT), established by SDG Advocate Graça Machel, announced today that it will launch a pan-African “Women Advancing Africa” initiative to ‘Multiply the Faces and Amplify the Voices’ of African women as a force for economic and social transformation.

“Africa’s continued journey towards full economic and social prosperity will only be achieved when women take the lead in setting the continent’s development agenda and have equal opportunities to participate at all levels in society,” said Mrs. Machel. “Now is the time to shape a collective agenda for the economic advancement of African women.”

The Trust convened a roundtable meeting of African women leaders across sectors in Magaliesburg, South Africa from August 11-13. At the meeting, more than 40 African women leaders worked together to identify priorities and outline key focus areas for the 2017 Forum. Under the overarching theme of driving social and economic transformation, WAA will focus on three core pillars in 2017: promoting financial inclusion, increasing market access and driving social change.