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Camfed Founder Ann Cotton Speaks at U.S.-Africa Summit Hosted by the White House, George W. Bush Institute and U.S. State Department

Washington, DC (PRWEB) August 06, 2014

Camfed (Campaign for Female Education), an international nonprofit organization that invests in the education of girls in rural Africa, announced that today, Founder and President Ann Cotton joined an esteemed panel of experts in Washington, D.C. to address the expansion of education, health and economic access in Africa. The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit was hosted by the White House, the George W. Bush Institute and the U.S. State Department.

First Ladies from nearly 30 countries joined Michelle Obama and Laura Bush to share success stories and identify actionable solutions to the challenges women and girls face in Africa.

“It is a great honor to participate in this Summit,” said Cotton. “For more than 20 years, Camfed has supported a generation of African girls and women with access to secondary and higher education, employment opportunities and, ultimately, into positions of leadership. I was asked to share our experiences and discuss ways to replicate Camfed’s success in rural Africa in many more locations.”

Camfed and The MasterCard Foundation are also excited to announce the publication of “When you educate a girl, everything changes”, a book which profiles MasterCard Foundation Scholars in Ghana supported by Camfed. The Scholars share the challenges they have faced in securing their education and their hopes for the future.

“The courage and imagination of the girls and young women who feature in the book are utterly inspiring to me,” said Cotton. “Above all, I am inspired by their generosity. Each individual has struggled against the cruelty of poverty and yet each looks forward to the day when she has the opportunity to help others, to transform her community, to contribute to the progress of Ghana. They inspire all of us who hold the power to make a difference to do more, much more.”

As the Summit explored best practices in the education of young African girls, the book offers proof of all that is possible when girls go to school. A digital version of the book can be found at

“At Camfed, we have focused on transforming the vicious cycle of poverty in many rural African communities into a cycle of opportunity. Alumnae of Camfed’s programs go on to become role models and mentors for future generations of young students. We call this the ‘virtuous circle’ and we know this is a model that works. This Summit is an opportunity to learn from others as well as share Camfed’s experience,” said Cotton.

Cotton participated in a panel, titled Education: Creating Opportunities and Investing in the Next Generation of Women Leaders. The panelists discussed how public-private partnerships, cross-sector collaborations and technology can improve access to, and success in, educational opportunities for girls in Africa. The full panel included:

  • Ann Cotton, President and Founder of Camfed International, OBE;
  • The Honorable Catherine Russell, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, U.S. Department of State, moderator;
  • The Honorable Aïcha Bah Diallo, Chairperson, Forum for African Women Educationalists;
  • Shelly Esque, Chairman of the Board, Intel Foundation, and Vice President of Legal and Corporate Affairs and Global Director of Corporate Affairs Group at Intel Corporation; and
  • Dr. Sara Ruto, Regional Manager – Uwezo East Africa, UWEZO

At last week’s Summit of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry all stressed the importance of girls’ education and women’s leadership. "This is where Africa’s future lies – with those women-run businesses, with those girls attending university, and with leaders like you who are making those dreams possible," said First Lady Michelle Obama.

During the Summit, Ruka Yaro De-Liman, a Ghanaian leader of Camfed’s Alumnae Association, Cama, received a $25,000 grant that will allow her to expand her existing farm business, where she produces and sells wholesome meat and quality eggs. De-Liman also mentors and helps educate the next generation of Camfed-supported students.

For more information, please visit


About Camfed:
Camfed, the Campaign for Female Education, fights poverty and HIV/AIDS in Africa by educating girls and empowering women to be leaders of change. Since 1993, more than three million children have benefited from Camfed’s innovative education programs in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ghana, Tanzania and Malawi. Camfed International is based in Cambridge, UK and Camfed USA is based in San Francisco. For more information, please visit

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