Driving Social and Economic Transformation

Women Advancing Africa is a new Pan-African flagship initiative launched by the Graça Machel Trust to acknowledge and celebrate the critical role women play in shaping Africa’s development agenda and driving social and economic transformation.


The WAA Forum puts women at the centre stage of the continent’s economic liberation, by providing a highly visible platform to showcase African women’s leadership and concrete contributions towards building a stronger, more vibrant and equitable future for all Africans.


The WAA Forum has been designed to offer participants a multi-dimensional and experiential approach, where each session provides participants with an opportunity to connect, network and harness solutions and innovations to catalyze the actions needed to achieve transformation.



Africa’s continued journey towards full economic and social prosperity will only be achieved when women take the lead in setting the continent’s development agenda and have equal opportunities to participate at all levels in society. Through their collective action, women are instrumental in building a stronger and more vibrant and equitable future for all Africans.

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The Graça Machel Trust acts as a catalyst, working across the continent on three issues: women’s economic advancement, children’s rights and leadership and governance. We exist to catalyse action, supporting local initiatives, lending solidarity and support where it is needed, connecting people and groups that should know each other and work together; and engaging both publicly and behind the scenes with power brokers to strengthen and amplify the voices of African women and children. Our Theory of Change for women’s economic advancement is that when women are more educated and economically empowered, they increase their choices and decisions, overcome oppressive practices and change power relations to live the lives they want and choose.