The Challenge

African women are severely underrepresented in decision making
processes across the continent. In Kenya, women constitute a mere 0.5% of top management in government ministries, 1.3% of top management in state corporations, 10% of the National Assembly, 10.2% of top management in local government, and 14% of the diplomatic corps. Education has been identified as the major obstacle to women’s access to leadership, and cost as the key barrier to girls’ education. In addition to poverty, early forced marriage and familial obligations end many girls’ hope for education. With a university degree virtually a prerequisite for access to most top leadership roles, and high-quality secondary school education as the main path to a university education, the odds stacked against young women from poor families are truly extreme.

Our Work

Akili Dada works to empower the next generation of African women leaders by providing promising young women from underprivileged backgrounds access to high quality education, personalized mentoring, and rigorous leadership development. We envision a future of educated, empowered African women of diverse economic backgrounds equally represented in leadership roles and decision-making processes on the continent.

Our Values

- We are committed to growing a strong network of solidarity and support among our scholars, alumnae, mentors, board, supporters, and volunteers because we believe in the importance of uniting women across generations, professions, geography, and social and economic circumstances.

Leadership - We value courage and independent thinking and seek to instill these values in our scholars and alumnae as they grow to become leaders in their schools, communities, and the world.  Similarly, the professional women who make up our strong network of mentors are also leaders in their fields and communities.

Integrity - We believe it takes courage to become a true leader and stand up for what is right. We are self-reflective, thoughtful and committed to sustainability.  We hold ourselves to a high standard of integrity within our organization and seek to instill this same commitment to those whom we serve.

Transformation - At our core, Akili Dada is about transformation - creating social change through positive growth at the personal, community, national, and international level. This process is best exemplified by our work transforming the lives of our scholars, as they are nurtured to become confident leaders who give back to their communities.

Excellence - We are committed to excellence in every aspect of our work, from the high-performing scholars we select, our accomplished alumnae, our network of professional women mentors, and the daily operations that support these programs. We take pride in our work and strive to always emerge women of excellence.

Akili Dada,
Jul 13, 2011, 1:54 PM