The Host: About Graca Machel Trust

The Graça Machel Trust acts as a catalyst, working across the continent on three issues: women’s economic advancement, children’s rights and leadership and governance. We exist to catalyse action, supporting local initiatives, lending solidarity and support where it is needed, connecting people and groups that should know each other and work together; and engaging both publicly and behind the scenes with power brokers to strengthen and amplify the voices of African women and children. Our Theory of Change for women’s economic advancement is that when women are more educated and economically empowered, they increase their choices and decisions, overcome oppressive practices and change power relations to live the lives they want and choose.

Our objectives are to:

We have offices in Johannesburg, South Africa and partnerships in twenty different countries across the African continent. We work through networks and collaborations, to amplify our impact, yet we also incubate and create new initiatives where there are gaps. A core part of our mandate is to ensure that people are connecting with one another and acting jointly for change.

Key advantages that the Trust possesses in holding this event:

  • Our convening power that can be leveraged to attract a broad mix of participants from the grassroots, to business leaders, industry captains, political heavyweights and media.

  • A wide geographic footprint in Africa, with networks that operate in more than 20 countries that can rally support for the event and see that its outcomes are implemented at a national, sub-regional and continental level.

  • A significant global network and brand presence that attracts international influencers.

  • The ability to cover a broader range of issues with insights gained from our many women’s networks, ranging from finance and economic development, agribusiness, entrepreneurship, and the role of media in changing Africa’s narrative.

  • Access to private sector companies that operate across the continent that could be approached as key long-term partners.

  • Access to African and global speakers, thought-leaders and influencers who would give the forum added visibility and credibility.

  • In-house knowledge on what it takes to organize a forum of this nature, in terms of resources, staffing needs and content.