For the second consecutive year, The Ibukun Awosika Leadership Academy has successfully hosted hundreds of African women home and abroad at the International Woman Leadership Conference from March 29 to 31, 2023, the last three days of Women’s History Month.
The conference, a place of knowledge, empowerment and entertainment for the African woman, took place at the Intercontinental Hotel, Festival City, Dubai with support from the city’s Economy and Tourism Centre.
International Woman Leadership Conference 2023
With an impressive line-up of pan-African and global speakers, the conference, over those three days, explored the theme “Against All Odds” through multiple keynotes, plenary and digging deep sessions.
After goodwill messages from the Wife of the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E Samira Bawumia and the Wife of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E Dolapo Osinbajo, Nigerian entrepreneur, motivational speaker, author and convener of the conference, Ibukun Awosika set the tone for the meeting with her opening speech, during which she charged attendees to take responsibility for their lives.
“The one thing you must never hand over to anyone is the remote control of your life. Have the right panel over your life and have the grace to receive criticism from this committee you have chosen,” she said.
This was soon followed by the first two keynotes delivered by the Director, Vigeo Power Ltd, Funke Osibodu and the Executive Chairperson, Kalagadi Manganese, Daphne Mashile-Nkosi on the topics Against All Odds – A Corporate Mindset and Against All Odds – A Changemaker’s Mindset respectively.
Other keynote speakers at the conference include the Executive Director Ellen Johnson Presidential Centre for Women Development, Oley Dibba Wadda, who spoke on ‘Doing it Afraid’ and the Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group, Joe Tsai, who spoke on ‘Against All Odds…Taking Opportunities.’
Line-up of speakers
Multiple A-list speakers contributed vital insights and practical experiences during the plenary sessions. They include Nigeria’s Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; the CEO of Secure-ID Limited, Kofo Akinkugbe; the MD at Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, Elohor Aiboni; the Regional Manager Middle East and Africa at Dubai International Chamber, Khalid Al Ali and the Regional Director, International Operations, Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), Stella Kalanne Fubara with special attendance by President and CEO Dubai Chambers, HE Mohammed Ali Rashed Lootah.
The conference was punctuated at strategic junctures with digging-deep sessions facilitated by a professor at the IESE Business School, Kandarp Mehta, who spoke on Negotiations and Mediation. There were also delegates’ conversation sessions, allowing for the cross-fertilisation of ideas among delegates.
The conference ended with a befitting gala night themed African Tribe with a Twist.
The International Woman Leadership Conference is an initiative of Ibukun Awosika Leadership Academy held annually in partnership with Dubai Tourism to provide an engaging platform for hundreds of women across Africa and the diaspora to be equipped and united in strength to change the story of the African continent. The first edition, which took place at Hilton Al Habtoor, Dubai, had over 400 C-suite executive women in attendance, including women delegates from 12 African countries.