Recognizing African women who are leading COVID-19 responses across the continent

Whether they work in healthcare, activism, civil service, education, or the arts, African women have been at the forefront of pandemic responses in communities across the continent. Demonstrating strong leadership and a commitment to delivering positive change, women have been at the core of some of the most effective and inclusive pandemic responses at all levels of society. 

These women serve as the inspiration for the EJS Center’s latest initiative, “Spotlight a COVID-19 heroine”. This initiative invites nominations for African women deserving recognition for stepping up during the pandemic and serving their communities, constituencies, or countries with distinction.

The most inspiring nominees submitted to the Spotlight a COVID-19 heroine campaign will be interviewed by the EJS Center and will each be the subject of an individual “COVID-19 heroine” profile showcased on our website and social media channels. This will give them access to a platform that will raise awareness about their work and connect them with fellow COVID-19 heroines and a wider network of inspirational African women leaders. Nominators of successful candidates will also have the opportunity to be featured alongside the heroine’s profile on the EJS Center’s website.

A COVID-19 heroine should:

  • Be a woman who is a citizen of and resident in any African country.
  • Have demonstrated exceptional leadership and dedication to her community through her COVID-19 response efforts.

If this sounds like someone you know, we encourage you to submit a nomination for her to be profiled as a COVID-19 heroine. Submissions are open until November 20. 

To spark inspiration for nominations, below we’ve shared a few examples of how the inaugural cohort of Amujae Leaders have been combatting the spread and impact of COVID-19 in their communities and countries. 

Amujae Leader Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, who is a Ghanaian MP, initiated a public awareness campaign in her community in the early days of the pandemic. Visiting local businesses, markets, and transport hubs, Dr. Agyeman-Rawlings met with women and provided them with information about how to maintain good hygiene to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In the education sector, Amujae Leader Aïda Alassane N’Diaye-Riddick has worked with TaRL Africa to develop educational radio programs to expand access to distance learning for children in her country, Côte d’Ivoire. Amujae Leader and Mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, OBE, has taken practical measures to help her city in the immediate fight against COVID-19–for example, by providing citizens with masks–as well as in the longer term, by accelerating plans to strengthen Freetown’s sanitation infrastructure in order to improve public health. 

These are only a few examples of the tireless efforts being made by Amujae Leaders and other African women across the continent. You can learn more about COVID-19 responses led by Amujae Leaders, EJS Center Board Members, and others in our network here: https://www.ejscenter.org/covid-19/ 

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