Laureate Gbowee addresses major women forum in Belgium

Liberian Nobel Laureate Leymah Roberta Gbowee is today, 21 February 2013 expected to deliver the keynote address at the African Women Leadership Symposium slated for Promotiezaal, University Hall, Naamsestraat 22, Leuven, in Belgium, the Heritage has reliably learnt.

In 2011, Madam Gbowee emerged joint Nobel Peace Prize winner with fellow Liberian, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Yemeni Peace activist, Tawakkul Karman, for what the Norwegian Nobel Committee called an honor "for their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work."

She was instrumental in the formation of the Liberian Mass Action for Peace, an alliance of Christian and Muslim women, in public protest during Liberia’s turbulent times. She served as the group’s leader during the war days in her native land-Liberia. Currently, through her organization, the Women Peace and Security Network Africa, the Nobel Laureate trains and empowers women in Africa to bring peace to their own countries.

The goal of the African Women Leadership Symposium, which is being hosted by the Leymah Gbowee Scholarship Fund for Leadership for African Women and the Leuven University Fund, is to provide scholarships for African women to enable them study at West-African universities at bachelor level and continue their studies at Master level at the KU Leuven University.

According to a statement from KU Leuven University, the symposium will focus on the key role women have as leaders for sustainable development and peace building, with special emphasis on African women.

The African Women Leadership Symposium with the theme:  'Female Leadership as Cornerstone for Sustainable Development’, will have Professor Tine Baelmans, Vice Rector of Education Policy, KU Leuven University; Mrs. Ann Van de Perre, HR director, ING Belgium and Dianah Namubiru, a student of KU Leuven University participating in a Panel discussion on Female leadership as a cornerstone for sustainable development, followed by Laureate Gbowee’s keynote address.

At the African Women Leadership Symposium, KU Leuven University and Laureate Gbowee will inaugurate a scholarship foundation, the Leymah Gbowee Scholarship Fund for Leadership for African Women, in honor of the Liberian Nobel Laureate.

Under the Leymah Gbowee Scholarship Fund for Leadership for African Women, Funding will be provided, and the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa will choose candidates from conflict torn West African countries like Liberia, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Nigeria to complete an undergraduate degree in West Africa, followed by a master’s at KU Leuven University.

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