WIA Young Leaders
The WIA Young Leaders program aims at supporting and highlighting young African women leaders who will play a major role in the African revolution.
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Women In Africa (WIA) Philanthropy is proud to develop the 4th edition of the WIA Young Leaders program, in partnership with Dior, the French investment bank Lazard in France, the Audit and Consulting firm KPMG, and the global energy company TotalEnergies.

Call for applications

The call for applications is launched on Monday, March 25, 2024. The deadline for applications has been extended to April 28th, 2024 at midnight (French time). All young African women who contribute to building a dynamic, innovative and inclusive Africa are invited to apply.

This year, 10 leaders will benefit from a tailor-made training program that will focus on women’s leadership and the skills of tomorrow. They will be supported by renowned mentors and will have the opportunity to live an immersive experience through a business trip in a world economic capital city. This trip will allow them to access a high-level professional network, be trained, meet experts from their sectors and benefit from high visibility at international events.


Selection criteria

The main selection criteria:

  • Women between 25 and 40 years old (flexibility possible depending on experience level)
  • Born in an African country or having parents born in an African country  
  • Involvement in the development of the continent and social commitment
  • Leadership skills (humility, empathy and resilience)
  • Special consideration will be given to candidates with “self-made” backgrounds
  • Vision of what Africa should be in the future.
  • Willingness to reconcile business conduct, social impact and public/private dialogue.
  • Ability to take on responsibilities at the highest level.
  • Strong convincing skills combined with a taste for teamwork.
  • Francophone, Anglophone, ideally bilingual.

The selection process will be conducted in two phases:

  1. Selection based on file: 12 pre-finalists
  2. Interview with the jury: 10 selected leaders


The WIA Young Leaders program will be an opportunity to:

  • Connect with high-level personalities and mentors such as CEOs, ministers, journalists, business or public figures, and serial entrepreneurs
  • Be trained on boards, media training, career coaching and other customized training
  • Benefit from international media visibility



This initiative is part of the fight for equal opportunities and allows the training of 10 young African women leaders by accompanying them in a qualitative way in their professional careers and in their social ascension, so that they can fully exploit their potential.

WIA Young Leaders 2024

Akouvi C. Elom AWOUDJA
Digital transformation advisor for public private sector cooperation
GIZ Togo

Director of the Audit, Risk Management & Quality Department
Orange Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Côte d’Ivoire

Impact Partnerships Manager Sub-Saharan Africa
Côte d’Ivoire

Walaa GADO
Egyptian Petroleum Research Institute (EPRI)

Partnership Officer
Benin Debt Management Agency


Asande GUMBE
2nd year Master’s student in Biomedical Engineering
The University of British Columbia

Cynthia ISIMBI
East Africa Manager
Sciences Po Paris

Legal and Tax Manager

Business development analyst
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

Ark and Rainbow Development Foundation (ARDF)

WIA Young Leaders alumnae


”The program allowed me to develop partnerships, thanks to the WIA Young Leaders I was able for example to develop a partnership with the Embassy of France in Gabon and organize the One Forest Youth Forum, with a speech during the High Level Segment in the presence of French and African Heads of State.”

Folake ONI

“The networking, the community and network of other amazing women doing fantastic work on the continent, the publicity through the various WIA platforms, the KPMG academy and the intended mentorship programme have all been very beneficial for my professional growth.”


“The young leaders programme was very educational for me and had led me into taking big decisions. I am working on a partnership with the France embassy in South Africa on the anti-teenage pregnancy project and again the KPMG course has really assisted a lot. Some of the Awards I am now nominated for emanate from the  WIA programme  and got a little attention from media on LinkedIn.”

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