ELLEN JOHNSON SIRLEAF

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Yawa Hansen-Quao

Executive Director, Social Entrepreneur, Female Leadership Advocate
Ghana

Yawa Hansen-Quao is a renowned Ghanaian social entrepreneur and advocate for women and youth leadership in Africa.

As the founder of the Leading Ladies Network, Yawa has been pivotal in nurturing the leadership skills of young women in the Global South. Her path, marked by becoming her university’s first female student government president, inspired her to create a platform that equips future female leaders with essential skills and support.

Yawa’s efforts have built a community of over 12,000 driven women and girls. Her groundbreaking work in youth leadership earned her recognition at the 2012 World Economic Forum on Africa and an Eisenhower Fellowship in 2016, followed by an Acumen West Africa Fellowship in 2023.

With expertise in Gender, Peace & Security, Yawa has developed key initiatives in leadership, education, and entrepreneurship. Her work, which spans local and international arenas, focuses on breaking down barriers and opening doors for young women. She is a renowned speaker on topics like youth empowerment and gender equality.

Beyond her organisational work, Yawa actively collaborates with governments, NGOs, and corporate partners to enhance opportunities for women and youth. She played a crucial role as Executive Director of Emerging Public Leaders (2018-2022), partnering with governments in Liberia, Ghana, and Kenya. Currently, she is a board member of Futurelect and an advisor to the African Leadership Academy’s AL for Governance Network.

Yawa also brings extensive experience as a business protocol consultant, strategist, and coach, having worked with major companies like Barclays Bank and Coca-Cola. She is the author of two leadership books: ‘Daughters of Zelophehad’ and ‘The Leading Lady Way’.

Her achievements include being the first African on the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Foundation board and the first Ghanaian on the Eisenhower Fellowship’s Global Network Council. She has served on the boards of Ashesi University and Legacy Girls College.

Yawa holds a degree in Business Administration, a Master’s in Gender, Peace & Security, and a Certificate in Radio & TV presentation. As a Toastmasters certified speaker, she brings a unique perspective to discussions on leadership and socio-political issues.

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