Coca-Cola hosts Africa Women Heads of State Initiative

Coca-Cola Africa, in honour of International Women’s Month and in partnership with, has hosted an unprecedented virtual summit.

The virtual summit revealed for the first time the 22 women who have served as president or head of state of an African country. The summit was moderated by Ruth Okedeji, Harvard Law School Professor, and four women who have served as head of state in Africa, including Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President of Liberia; Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Prime Minister of Namibia; Joyce Banda, Former President of Malawi, and Ammenah Gurib-Fakim, Former President of Mauritius, all delivered their remarks.

Bruno Pietracci, President Africa at The Coca-Cola Company, while making his keynote, said the main ambition of Coca-Cola in Africa is to be a positive force of growth on the continent. He noted that Coca-Cola has been present on the African continent since 1928, adding that the cola giant takes its commitment towards Africa very seriously.

“We cannot succeed if the communities we do business with in Africa do not succeed. We take very seriously, and value every commitment towards African advancement.   

The summit’s theme, “Top 6 Opportunities for Africa’s Advancement”, featured key African thought leaders in a uniquely engaging format to discuss the opportunities including: Making Up for Lost Time – A Better Normal for Africa by Dr. Vera Songwe; Securing Africa’s Food Supply by Dr. Adesina; Driving the Climate Change Agenda for COP27 in Egypt; Solutions for a Water-Secure Future by Wanjira Mathai; Closing the Inequality Gap by Mausi Segun, and Creating African Vaccination Manufacturing Capacity by Kuseni Dlamini.

There was a dynamic video presentation on the 22 women who have served as president or head of state of an African country, a grouping that has never before been compiled.

The concluding section of the summit featured the women heads of state referenced above, sharing their views, through a gender lens, on the “Top 6 Opportunities for Africa’s Advancement”.

Commenting on the virtual summit, Patricia Obozuwa, AOU Vice President for Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability, said: “Coca-Cola Africa is happy to support such an initiative that seeks to advance the conversation on women empowerment in Africa. At Coca-Cola, we believe that women are critical not only to the success of our business, but to the continued success of the communities we proudly serve. Women and youth empowerment is one of the focus areas under our sustainability platform, where we commit to unlock economic opportunities through the provision of improved access to soft skills training, networks, finance & markets.”

On her part, Teresa Clark,, said: “This work is a complement to our groundbreaking work in the private sector, Women Leading Corporate Africa, in which we offer free online training workshops to help women and girls who are interested in climbing the corporate ladder.”


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