Women Changing Africa

Barnard's Third Annual Global Symposium
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Noon to 5pm
Sandton Sun Conference Center, Johannesburg, South Africa

Barnard College and President Debora Spar hosted the College's third annual global symposium in South Africa, to showcase the incredible work being done by preeminent women throughout Africa. On Tuesday, March 15, 2011, Barnard was honored to present Women Changing Africa, a dialogue on women's leadership, women's agency, and women's voices.

The event brought together leaders—in government, commerce, academia, media, and the arts—for a day of collaboration, networking and discussion, including two panels entitled, Conversations on Leadership and Voices of the Next Generation.

"If you look at the recent history of this continent, you see the incredible role that women have been playing," said President Spar.  "I would say not only are women part of the change on the African continent, they're actually leading the change."

Featured panelists included Governor Gill Marcus of the South African Reserve Bank; Dr. Mamphela Ramphele, a South African academic, activist, and former senior director of the World Bank; Ferial Haffajee, editor-in-chief of City Press; Senator Aloisea Inyumba from Rwanda; Justice Yvonne Mokgoro, chairperson of the South African Law Reform Commission; Ndidi Nwuneli, founder of LEAP Africa; Susan Mboya, founder and president of the Zawadi Africa Education Fund and general manager for Coca Cola; Fiona Budd, managing director of the South African Ballet Theatre; and Nomfanelo Magwentshu, formerly chief operations officer of the Local Organizing Committee for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.

Leadership Panel

View video clips from the Symposium

Read the full transcript of:

Opening Remarks

Panel One "Conversations on Leadership"

Panel Two "Voices of the Next Generation"

Preceding the Symposium, on March 14, six Barnard students led the 2011 Young Women's Leadership Workshop for local students in Johannesburg. 

To read more about the Young Women's Leadership Workshopand view photos, click here.

On Thursday, April 14, 2011, the conversation generated at the symposium came back to Barnard's campus. President Spar, Athena Center director Kathryn Kolbert, Professor Kim F. Hall, Professor Yvette Christianse and the student representatives who attended the symposium reflected on their experiences and continude the dialogue on women's leadership started in South Africa. An African-themed dinner was served.

For more information please e-mail globalsymposium@barnard.edu.

For media inquiries, please contact Alyssa Vine or Sun Min at mediarelations@barnard.edu / 212.854.2037 or Ali Merifield/Camilla Flatt at barnard@africapractice.com / +27 (0)11 022 6565.



Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Noon to 5:00 p.m.

Sandton Sun
Conference Center, Maroela South
Corner Fifth and Alice Streets
Johannesburg, South Africa


Gloria Mamba, Barnard College '89
Divisional Executive, Portfolio Management
Investment Banking Division, Development Bank of Southern Africa


Debora Spar
President, Barnard College

Opening Remarks (with lunch)

Maria Ramos
Group Chief Executive, Absa
Introduced by Nomkhita Nqweni
Chief Executive of Absa Wealth

Panel One – Conversations on Leadership

Ferial Haffajee, Editor-in-Chief of City Press
Aloisea Inyumba, Senator of Rwanda's Parliament
Gill Marcus, Governor of the South African Reserve Bank
Yvonne Mokgoro, Justice of the Constitutional Court and Chairperson of the South African Law Reform Commission
Mamphela Ramphele, Academic, Activist, and Former Senior Director of the World Bank 

--- Break ---

Panel Two – Voices of the Next Generation

Fiona Budd, Outgoing Managing Director of the South African Ballet Theatre and Board Member of the South African Ballet Theatre
Nomfanelo Magwentshu, Chief Operations Officer, 2010 FIFA World Cup
Susan Mboya, Coca-Cola Executive and Founder of the Zawadi Africa Educational Fund
Ndidi Nwuneli, Founder of LEAP Africa

Concluding Remarks

Elsie McCabe Thompson, Barnard College '81
President of the Museum for African Art, New York City


Barnard College's Women Changing Africa is sponsored by Barclays Capital, Barclays Wealth, Absa Capital, and Absa Wealth.

Barnard College gratefully acknowledges the generosity of patron sponsor Jennifer Oppenheimer.

Barnard College gratefully acknowledges the support of Dr. Andile Ngcaba, the Executive Chairman of Dimension Data Middle East and Africa.