Over 30 African dignitaries including Osinbajo, Fayemi, Borha-David, Omobola Johnson, speak at Ibukun Awosika Leadership Academy Conference in Dubai

Ibukun Awosika IWLC

The inaugural edition of the International Woman Leadership Conference (IWLC) mobilised over 400 C-Suite female delegates consisting of founders, CEOs and senior executives for 3 days starting from March 29th till 31st, 2022. The annual event was convened by the Ibukun Awosika Leadership Academy, in partnership with Dubai Tourism and Dubai Events. 

The International Woman Leadership Conference (IWLC) is a pan-African leadership conference for women which had delegates from more than 12 African countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Egypt, Burundi, Zambia, South Africa, Uganda, Botswana, Ivory Coast and also, Barbados, Jamaica, UAE, Spain, as well as Nigerians from the United Kingdom, US and Canada.

Here, women share refreshing yet effective perspectives on real-life situations faced by the African woman in her personal and professional life. 

According to the convener of the IWLC, Ibukun Awosika, a prominent business leader and entrepreneur herself, her experience working with women spurred the inspiration to create the platform.

Ibukun Awosika IWLC
A selfie of Conference Convener, Ibukun Awosika with delegates from Ghana who attended The International Woman Leadership Conference in Dubai

“Having had the opportunity to work with women, both young and old, across various parts of the world and working with different platforms, I realised that for the African woman,” she said.

“There’s a need to create a common platform that removes our divisions to learn to share our knowledge and to be connected in a way that we’re more powerful for effective change in the lives of our people and changing our countries.”

Themed, “Women in Leadership… Playing To Win”, sessions explored topics such as  Corporate Mindset, Managing Power, Building Tribes, and Value-Based Leadership. 

Ibukun Awosika IWLC
A group photo of conference convener, Ibukun Awosika and delegates from Ghana, Spain, Barbados and Jamaica.

These intrinsic sessions were led by over 30 well-accomplished speakers with years of valuable experience in key areas. The array of speakers included Chairman, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc. Sola David-Borha (Nigeria), Nobel Peace  Laureate; Leymah Gbowee (Liberia), First Lady Ekiti State Government; H.E Erelu Bisi Fayemi (Nigeria); Chairman, Pepkor; Wendy Luhabe (South Africa); Fmr. CEO of Unilever, Paul Polman (New Zealand); Chairman, Guinness Nigeria; Dr Omobola Johnson (Nigeria), Former President, Procter and Gamble, Non-Executive Director CDC Group Plc; Dolika Banda (Zambia), Acting Chairman, Board of Trustees of Investors Protection Fund, Nigeria’s Exchange Limited; Yewande Sadiku (Nigeria), Chairman, Zenith Bank; Freda Duplan (Ghana), Founder & CEO Alitheia, Tokunbo Ishmael (Nigeria); Kisumu Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture; Achie Alai (Kenya), CEO, Ghana Deposit Protection Corporation; Pearl Esua-Mensah (Ghana); Chairman, Eventful Limited; Yewande Zaccheaus (Nigeria), Entrepreneur & Thought Leader; Tara Fela-Durotoye (Nigeria), Chief Human Resources Officer of MTN Nigeria Communications PLC; Esther Akinnukawe (Nigeria) and a host of other exceptional speakers from across Africa. 

Ibukun Awosika IWLC
L-R: Founder, House of Tara, Tara Fela-Durotoye; CEO, Ghana Deposit Protection Corporation, Pearl Esua-Mensah; Chairman, Zenith Bank Ghana, Freda Y Duplan

Nigeria’s vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo joined the conference via an online telecast to deliver inspiring keynote remarks. Her Excellency, H.E Dolapo Osinbajo joined in person to give her goodwill message, where she spoke about the impact of one’s daily choices, “what you choose today will be the reality of tomorrow” she encouraged. 

Ibukun Awosika IWLC
L-R:  Associate Vice President at Dubai Tourism, Hoor Al Khaja; Wife of Nigeria’s VP, HE Dolapo Osinbajo; Convener of The International Woman Leadership Conference, Ibukun Awosika; and Director of International Operations at Dubai Tourism, Kalanne Fubara at the IWL Conference held recently in Dubai.

Liberian peace activist and Nobel Peace Laureate, Leymah Gbowee delivered an exceptional keynote on ‘Social Change Mindset’, giving crucial instances where women need to utilise their strength. “Know your limitations, speak your truth. Walk in truth and integrity, even when many may not like it.” 

With so many impactful activities and the event trending on social media throughout, the inaugural IWLC was a success and was brought to a close with a gala night dinner at the Waldorf Astoria, Palm Jumeirah. Delegates dressed glamorously in their ingenious attires showcasing the rich African culture. 

‘The International Woman Leadership Conference was highly impactful because the content was practical, actionable, tailored yet relevant for both the emerging female leader and the established female leader. I found relevance in EVERY session and I’m empowered to lead boldly and powerfully going forward.’ said Kemi Onabanjo-Joseph, Associate Partner, McKinsey & Company. 

Conference sponsors included Afrexim, Secure ID, Samsung, MTN Nigeria, and individual sponsor, Afria.

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