Kah Walla – first of the key note speakers
Cameroonian politician, activist and entrepreneur Edith Kahbang Walla, popularly known as Kah Walla, will be the first of the key note speakers at the Nordic Africa Days in Uppsala 19 – 21 September.
In 2008 she was recognised by the World Bank as one of seven women entrepreneurs working to improve the business environment in Africa. In 2011, Newsweek & The Daily Beast cited her as one of 150 women who shake the world and New African named her one the 100 most important Africans.
She is the founder and CEO of Strategies!, a consulting firm offering services in leadership, strategy and organisational development to multi-national firms and development organisations.
Kah Walla is a well-known champion for women’s rights in her country. She is president of the Cameroon Gender and Development Network, and founder of Cameroon Ô’Bosso, a citizen movement to help the grassroots organise to defend their interests.
In 2007 she went into politics with Cameroon’s main opposition party, Social Democratic Front, later switching to Cameroon People’s Party (CPP), where she was elected party president in 2011. The same year she became the first woman ever to run for the presidency in Cameroon.
She is known as an outspoken critic of the sitting president Paul Biya, currently the longest-ruling leader in Africa, having ruled the country since 1982. As leader of CPP she has declared that her party will not participate in this year’s presidential election, which she has called “a setup for one person to win” in an interview.
She has also questioned the country’s electoral system, calling for an independent electoral commission, “a good biometric system to register”, and two-round presidential elections.
Cameroon is due to hold three crucial elections – presidential, council and legislative – later this year amidst unrest in the two English-speaking regions of the country as separatists call for a partition of the country.