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World Bank Africa & Youth Transforming Africa Network Celebrates International Women’s History Month

March 30, 2022


Women in Africa: Cultural Expectations & Gender Inequality

Empowering African women and girls is essential to creating dynamic markets that drive transformation and accelerate the demographic transition. This year’s International Women’s Day theme, #BreakTheBias, highlights the importance of challenging biases and misconceptions in the interest of creating a more inclusive and gender-equal world. Similar to other parts of the world, Africa’s women and girls face biases and stereotypes that come in many different forms, and which tend to be easily overlooked. Discriminatory cultural practices, expectations, and gender roles continue to surpass women and girls’ rights and hinder their true potential on the continent.

Through a panel discussion bringing together African women from different backgrounds and at different stages of their professional journeys, we will begin to examine how we can challenge cultural and societal biases in order to tackle wage and income inequality between men and women, education access for girls and economic inclusion for women. Join us as we look at how culture, which plays a significant role in development when thinking of how to create a more inclusive world, can be leveraged to maximize the full potential of African women and girls.

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    Dimpho Lekgeu - Moderator


    Dimpho Lekgeu is the Community Manager at Youth Lab, a policy think tank that works to improve youth capacity and mainstream youth participation in community building and policy making. Through her work as a journalist, she centers the experiences of youth and women in Africa, highlighting the socio-economic challenges that affect their daily lives. In 2018, she was awarded the Leading South Africa Candidate Scholarship to attend the One Young World Summit in the Netherlands.


    Santher Mbacham (Cameroon)

    Journalism & Public relations

    Mbacham Santher, managing director of Imagenation public relations (PR) agency, is a Cameroonian PR guru who uses her agency to highlight the successes, opportunities, and challenges within Cameroonian society. At the same time, she works to simultaneously strengthen mutually beneficial relationships between brands and clients. She does this by using the agency, which she founded with her friends, to enhance their brand profile through campaigns, stories and achievements, and by protecting their image on or off the digital sphere.


    Kadiata Diallo (Mauritania)

    Fashion & Entrepreneurship

    Kadiata Diallo is a young Mauritanian Fashion Entrepreneur. She founded NIUKU, her first clothing brand in 2013, which is characterized by timeless wardrobe pieces. In 2016, NIUKU distinguished itself as a unique brand by selling in five large stores between Tokyo and Osaka. In 2017, after obtaining her Master's degree in Communications, Kadiata became the first African woman to be named finalist of the ANDAM FASHION AWARD contest. She was finally able to join the industry circle and officially participate in Paris Fashion Week for Men in 2018. Kadiata has become the first black Mauritanian woman to enter the closed world of Parisian fashion.


    Rosine Guilene Gatoni (Burundi)

    STEM & Technology

    Rosine Guilène Gatoni , 29, was born in Burundi. She holds the position of General Director of Information Technology and Media in the ICT Ministry since May 2019. She is also Vice President of the Steering Committee of the Universal Service Fund since January 2020. She is involved in the implementation of the National ICT Development Policy (PNDTIC), the coordination and monitoring of the implementation of the sectoral programs of the Ministry in alignment with the National Development Plan (PND 2018-2027). As the secretary of the National Council of Burundian Youth, she strives to mobilize and encourage young people in general and especially girls to seize their responsibility towards the development of the country and to immerse themselves in this field of ICT and innovation as an entrepreneurial and cross-cutting opportunity. She holds a Master's degree in Networks and Telecommunications at the University Ibn Khaldoun of Tiaret in Algeria. "


    Estelle Koussoube

    Economist, Africa Gender Innovation Lab, World Bank

    Estelle Koussoubé is an economist in the World Bank’s Africa Gender Innovation Lab (GIL). She is GIL thematic leader for youth employment and leads the joint GIL-Health, Nutrition and Population research program on adolescent girls’ empowerment under the Gender Innovation and Regional Learning (G.I.R.L) initiative. Estelle is also an Associate Researcher at UMR DIAL (French Research Institute for Development and Paris-Dauphine University). Her research interests include technology adoption, health and nutrition, and social norms and their role in development. She currently works on impact evaluations of empowerment programs for adolescent girls and women, youth employment programs, as well as agriculture and gender-based violence prevention programs in Sub-Saharan Africa. Estelle received her Ph.D in Economics from Paris-Dauphine University.


    O'Neall Massamba (France & Republic of Congo)

    Manager of the Youth Summit 2022

    O’Neall joined the World Bank Group in February 2020 and now works as a Legal Consultant in the Public Private Partnership Group. Before being appointed Manager of the Youth Summit, she served as a Content Co-Lead and a Moderator for the World Bank Group Youth Summit 2021 and attended the Youth Summit as a Delegate in 2019. O’Neall is an attorney admitted to practice in the State of New York. Prior to joining the World Bank Group, she worked for more than three years as a construction lawyer in Canada for Eurovia (VINCI Group) where she was responsible for negotiating major infrastructure project contracts in North and South America, with governments and local contractors. She also worked in one of the biggest law firms in Luxembourg in their Private Equity and Real Estate Investment practice. O’Neall holds a master's degree (L.L.M) in Business and Finance Law from the George Washington University Law School (USA), as well as a master's degree in Economics and Business Law from Université Paris I - Panthéon Sorbonne (France) and a master's degree in Comparative Business Law (with honors) from Université Paris V - Descartes (France). She also holds a bachelor's degree in Law and a bachelor's degree in Economics from Université Paris I - Panthéon Sorbonne (France).


  • Duration & Format: A 1h conversation on zoom, open to the public.
  • Where: Online
  • When: Wednesday March 30th, 2022
  • Time: 10:00am EST