AKINA MAMA
wa AFRIKA (AMwA)

Is a pan-African feminist leadership development organization founded in 1985 by a group of African women living in the diaspora, who remained keenly aware of their African roots and the need to organize autonomously. We were named Akina Mama wa Afrika which means solidarity among African women. Collective action is therefore our birthright. We were fearless right from birth and remain so, having chosen to identify as feminists at a time when the word was largely shunned in Africa and beyond. Our boldness stems from our unwavering desire for women’s agency and gender justice.

Our Vision

AMwA envisions a dignified and equitable feminist society for African women and girls in all their diversities.

Our Mission

To build feminist leadership and collective power to deconstruct intersectional systems of oppression to advance women and girls social justice

Guiding Principles

How We Work

Commitment to Gender Justice

At Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA), gender justice is the foundation of our mission, striving for full equality and equity across all genders. Our efforts involve women and men equally in shaping the policies and structures that influence their lives, ensuring balanced participation in all societal aspects.

Strategic Approach

We leverage our strengths through partnerships, thought leadership, and advocacy to drive transformational change and advance gender justice. Our work is anchored in collective action, utilizing our network’s power to effect significant shifts towards a more equitable society.

Our Four Pillars

Feminist and Transformational Leadership Development

Cultivating leadership skills among African women to lead societal change.

Feminist Research and Documentation

Building a robust base of knowledge to support our advocacy and policy work.

Policy Influencing and Movement Building

Engaging with policymakers and community leaders to enact and enforce policies that advance gender equality.

Arts and Creative Expression

Using art and cultural expressions to challenge norms and promote feminist values.

Herstory

Wanjiru Kihoro founded Akina Mama Wa Afrika in 1985; this was possibly the first organization of its generation to focus on African women. By the 1980’s there was a thriving black feminist movement, but it was AMWA that provided a venue for pursuing the particular concerns of women from the African continent who found themselves residing in London.
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FOUNDING OF AMwA

Founded by Wanjiru Kihoro in London, as a response to the needs of African women in the diaspora, particularly addressing the challenges faced by political exiles and refugees from the African continent.

Community Engagement and Growth

Established as a voluntary organization; launched the journal ‘African Woman’ and began organizing a series of successful public events and workshops from a small office in Covent Garden, London.

Advocacy at Global Forums

AMwA led a delegation of young African women to the Women's Conference in Beijing, marking the beginning of its active engagement in international women's rights advocacy.

Relocation and Expansion

Under the leadership of Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, AMwA relocated its headquarters to Kampala, Uganda, to better focus on African women's issues and retain strong transcontinental connections.

First African Women Leadership Institute (AWLI)

Launched the AWLI in Kampala, pioneering leadership development specifically tailored for African women, fostering a new generation of feminist leaders.

Establishment of the African Women’s Development Fund

In collaboration with Hilda Tadria and Joana Foster, AMwA helped establish the African Women’s Development Fund, focusing on supporting grassroots movements and women-led initiatives across Africa.

Breaking New Ground in Sexual Rights

Organized "The Vagina Monologues" in Uganda, challenging societal norms and sparking conversations about sexual rights and freedoms.

African and Uganda Feminist Forums

Initiated the African Feminist Forum (AFF) and hosted the Uganda Feminist Forum (UFF), creating platforms for dialogue, advocacy, and the strengthening of feminist agendas across the continent.

Leadership and Advocacy

Continues to train thousands of women through the AWLI and influence policy at national and international levels, supporting women's leadership and addressing systemic gender issues across Africa.

UGANDA

  • PoD programme
  • Makeway programme

KENYA

  • Makeway programme
  • Voices for Just Climate Action Programme

ETHOPIA

  • Power of Dialogue
  • Makeway programme

TUNISIA

  • Voices for Just Climate Action Programme

SUDAN

  • Power of Dialogue

ZAMBIA

  • Makeway programme
  • Voices for Just Climate Action Programme

RWANDA

  • Makeway programme

Impact

Beneficiaries Served
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Programs Completed
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Training Sessions Held
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Partnerships Formed
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