With the goal of “Empowering Africa: Unveiling the Hidden Drivers Shaping Tomorrow,” I am honoured to have delivered my keynote address at the 10th Annual St Andrews Africa Summit, a commendable student-led and university-supported initiative dedicated to the challenges and opportunities we face on the continent.
I am particularly heartened by the summit’s focus on women and children’s health alongside science and technology, especially as we commemorated the United Nations International Day of Women and Girls in Science, yesterday, emphasising women’s leadership in science to foster a new era for sustainability, while driving socio-economic development.
From improving health to combating climate change, women and girls play a critical role in the science and technology communities, and it is essential that their participation is strengthened, especially since STEM is widely regarded as critical to national economies across Africa.
I urged each student to seize the opportunity to be inspired, to learn, and to commit to action, as we are reminded of the transformative impact that collective action can have. Through platforms like such, we can foster open and respectful political dialogue, inspire technical innovation, and mobilise sustainable resources, leading to the unveiling of the hidden drivers shaping tomorrow’s Africa, a future defined by hope, resilience, prosperity, and boundless opportunity.
Watch the Keynote:
Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed guests, and students of St. Andrews,
It is with immense pleasure that I join you today on this momentous occasion, as we gather for the 10th annual St. Andrews Africa Summit. For a decade now, the St. Andrews Africa Summit has served as a platform for dialogue, collaboration, and action on the pressing issues facing Africa—a testament to the unwavering commitment of this student-led initiative and university-supported endeavour towards a more empowered Africa.
As the Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, and Inaugural Global Health Ambassador for the World Health Organization, I am deeply honoured today to join you in exploring this year’s theme: “Empowering Africa: Unveiling the Hidden Drivers Shaping Tomorrow.” This theme resonates profoundly with the challenges and opportunities we face on the continent, and I commend the organisers for their foresight in selecting such a vital topic, especially as 18 African countries, a third of the population in Africa, head to the polls in 2024.
The importance of democratic governance cannot be overstated. Democracy empowers citizens, especially our youth to participate in the decision-making process, ensuring their voices are heard and their needs addressed. With a flourishing youth population, the voices and votes of young people have the power to drive meaningful change and pave the way for a more inclusive and prosperous Africa.
As we reflect on the journey of the St. Andrews Africa Summit over the past decade, we are reminded of the transformative impact that collective action can have on shaping the future of our continent. It is through platforms like this one today, in which we can foster open and respectful political dialogue, inspire technical innovation, and mobilise sustainable resources to ensure Africa prospers.
I am particularly heartened by the focus on women’s and children’s health, empowerment, and socio-economic development—a cause that lies at the very heart of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa’s mission. For too long, women and children have borne the brunt of inequality across Africa, while being denied access to essential and quality healthcare, education, and economic opportunities.
Yet, as we gather here, we stand on the cusp of change—a change that begins with each and every one of us. At the core of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa’’s initiatives lies a commitment to holistic healthcare, education, and advocacy. Through strategic programming, advocacy and global partnerships, WBFA tackles the root challenges of maternal, newborn and child health while uplifting and empowering communities to build a healthier, brighter future.
Beyond policies and programmes, it is our collective will and determination that will truly drive progress. It is the belief that every individual in Africa has inherent worth and potential—that no one should be left behind—that will propel us forward on this journey of empowerment and transformation.
As we embark on this summit, I urge each and every one of you to seize this opportunity to be inspired, to learn from one another, and to commit to action. For it is through our joint efforts that we will unveil the hidden drivers shaping tomorrow’s Africa—a future defined by hope, resilience, and boundless opportunity.
Together, let us empower Africa and unleash its full potential.