Phenomena Shaping the Future: Cultivating Extraordinary Women Entrepreneurs in Africa
Chidiogo Akunyili is the founder of She Roars, an organization founded with the ideal to create a world where women challenge the narratives of inequality and in so doing unleash their full potential and that of the world. She is a writer, storyteller, and movement builder, who has lived and worked across five continents, including 53 of Africa’s countries. She speaks seven of the world’s languages, all invaluable tools that bridge lives, people, and their global realities.
In 1995, a visionary agenda for the Parliament of Women and Girls, called the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, was adopted at the fourth World Conference on Women. The action was adopted by 198 countries, all of whom were committed to taking strategic, bold action to remove the systemic barriers that hold women back from equal participation in all areas of life. 2020 marks 25 years since the Beijing Platform for Action, and yet today not a single country can claim to have achieved gender equality. Goal number 5 of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Multiple obstacles remain unchanged, however, in law and in culture, and as a result, women remain undervalued, they continue to work more, earn less, have fewer choices, and experience multiple forms of violence at home and in public spaces. Chidiogo Akunyili, is working to fulfill the promises of the Beijing Declaration and goal number five of the UN sustainability goals. And she is doing so with a focus on Africa, a continent so wealthy that for over five centuries, other nations have stooped to the most vile, inhumane, and repungent instruments to plunder its natural resources and human capital to enrich themselves, a continent which, while bearing the psychological and physical scars of such long and thorough exploitation, is stubborn and steadfast in its determination to define itself and wrest back its own power and destiny. A continent which, by 2050, will have birthed one in every four people on the globe.