Africa, a continent teeming with rich history, , and over a billion people, is experiencing a revolution. And this revolution has a female face. While traditional perceptions often sideline women’s significant contributions, Africa’s current state paints a different story. As delegates of the , you are the torchbearers of this change. Here’s a look at the inspiring statistics of women in professional roles in Africa.
The Leap in Leadership:
- In 2021, 24% of senior roles in businesses across Africa were held by women. This marked an increase from 5% in the early 2000s. Countries such as Rwanda and South Africa have set the pace, with women holding more than 30% of senior management roles.
- The African Union, in its Agenda 2063, has set a bold target of 50% representation of women in decision-making positions both at private and public levels. With nations like Ethiopia already having a female president and Rwanda boasting a majority female parliament, the momentum is palpable.
Breaking Stereotypes in STEM:
- The field of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) globally has been predominantly male-centric. However, Africa is changing the narrative. In 2020, UNESCO reported that around 30% of researchers in Sub-Saharan Africa are women, compared to a world average of 28%.
- African countries like Tunisia and Cape Verde boast higher than average numbers, with 55% and 53% women researchers, respectively.
Entrepreneurship – Women Taking the Lead:
- The Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs 2019 showcased that Uganda (38.2%), Botswana (38.5%), and Ghana (37.9%) rank among the top countries with the highest percentages of women business owners globally.
- African women are not just starting businesses; they are solving real-world challenges. From AgTech enterprises in Kenya to fintech solutions in Nigeria, women entrepreneurs are at the forefront.
Education – The Pillar of Progress:
- Over the last two decades, there’s been a noticeable surge in the enrollment of girls in schools. Countries like Ghana and Rwanda have achieved gender parity in primary education.
- As per the World Bank, in countries like Lesotho, Namibia, and Botswana, more women than men are enrolled in tertiary education. This uptick in higher education is directly contributing to the rise in professional roles for women across sectors.
The Corporate Ladder – Climbing with Determination:
- The corporate world in Africa is witnessing a paradigm shift. In Nigeria, 22% of board directors are women, and South Africa’s Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed companies have about 23.5% women on their boards.
- Additionally, more are venturing into non-traditional sectors. From mining in Zambia to construction in Ghana, women are dismantling barriers and stereotypes.
Challenges Yet to Conquer:
While the statistics are heartening, it’s essential to address the roadblocks too. Gender pay gaps, societal norms, lack of access to funding for , and workplace biases are realities that many face daily.
But, here’s the silver lining – the very fact that these issues are being acknowledged, discussed, and debated means that they are on the radar for change. Organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, are working tirelessly to create an ecosystem where women can thrive professionally.
Given the aforementioned, we at I-Train Africa are taking the lead to address some of these challenges through the Global Mentorship Conference. This conference has been designed to provide clarity, direction, networking opportunities, mentorship, and leadership training opportunities to which all come together to give them a roadmap on how to get to the apex/decision-making positions in their chosen careers under 4 major categories:
Core Professional (9-5ers)- Working within an organization.
Building Startups (entrepreneurs) – Starting and building innovative enterprises.
Gig Economy (Freelancers) – Working for others independently.
Academia – Working as a researcher / tertiary education
As we delve into this conference, let’s remember these statistics not just as numbers, but as a testament to the resilience, ambition, and capabilities of women.
As women of all ages from across the globe, you are not just witnesses to this transformative journey of but are also key participants. Collaboration, mentorship, and shared learning can amplify this progress.
The African proverb, “If you educate a man, you educate an individual. But if you educate a woman, you educate a nation,” rings true today more than ever.
Here’s to celebrating women in Africa and everywhere else, and to a future that’s shaped equally by all.
Welcome to the Global Mentorship Conference; The Leading Women’s Edition!