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[afro-nets] Call for Nominations of African Women of Distinction

Call for Nominations of African Women of Distinction

This is a call for nominations for inclusion in the book and video documentary, 
"African Women of Distinction" to exhibit in December, 2006. The African Women 
of Distinction project profiles the stories and work of twenty women in Africa 
who embody the essence of leadership, determination, and innovation in 
addressing social, economic and political issues at local, national, and 
international levels. This is the first of several editions of this project in 
Africa and other regions of the world. 

Profiled women for the 2006 "African Women of Distinction" project will come 
from across Africa and represent diverse social, economic and political 
backgrounds and come from all walks of life--mothers, government and business 
leaders, community activists, scientists, and grandmothers. African Women of 
Distinction will provide a reality-based and all-encompassing depiction of 
women in Africa, including their role as nurturers, as agents of peace, and as 
"social rebels". 

Integrated within the African Women of Distinction project is an African Women 
of Distinction Leadership program that unites and builds solidarity between the 
women, and facilitates mentorship and nurtures leadership with other women in 
and outside Africa. 

To reaffirm our commitment to young women and their importance to the future of 
Africa, five young women between the ages of 18 and 30 will be honoured based 
on their potential for extraordinary leadership and service in Africa. 

Selection criteria:

1. Should be a positive role model and demonstrate leadership in their chosen 
2. Should be someone whose achievements have made an impact at local, national 
or international levels. 
3. Individuals who have been the first in initiating an activity that made 
living conditions better for others.
4. Embody excellence and leadership in her field of endeavor.
5. Someone who has shown courage in public life and public service or is/has 
been involved in a great cause for the uplifting of humanity. 
6. Should reside in Africa, however not required.

Note: There are no limitations to the nominated women's social, economic or 
political status, age, education, and/or literacy skills. Nominations are 
accepted in Portuguese, English, French, and Arabic. Selections will be made by 
an international panel in August 2006. 

Further information on the "African Women of Distinction" and nomination forms 
are available at All nominations must be 
submitted by August 31, 2006.
Interested individuals can also apply to be program interns at 


+1 831 306 5951

c/o Amanda Koster and Neema Mgana 
3842 Interlake Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98103

All selected women will be notified by September 15, 2006. For further 
information, please email:

Project leads:

Neema Mgana, social entrepreneur. 
Neema Mgana was the youngest of 1000 women from around the world jointly 
nominated for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize. In 2000, she co-founded an 
organization providing education, health and other services to over 200 
children affected by HIV/AIDS in her native Tanzania. She then founded the 
African Regional Youth Initiative (ARYI) while a first-year graduate student in 
2003. ARYI presently works directly with over 300 community and youth 
organizations to jointly develop, implement, and evaluate community, national 
and regional strategies and programs focusing on development issues in Africa. 
In an effort to foster innovative thinking on international development, she 
co-founded the Forum for Global Action in 2006. A leading program within the 
Forum is on women's leadership that is being implemented in Africa, Asia, and 
South America. She is currently a board member of several different 
organizations, and is spearheading projects to improve health delivery in 
Africa, including projects developing health and education facilities and 
improving health systems in sub-Saharan Africa. 

She received a Masters degree in International Health from Loma Linda 
University of Health Science in the U.S., a BSc. in Health Informatics from the 
University of Victoria in Canada, and is pursuing a business degree. She also 
has certificates in Humanitarian Assistance and International Peace Studies. 

Amanda Koster, documentary photographer and media artist
Amanda Koster ( ) is an internationally acclaimed 
documentary photographer committed to the advancement of human rights and 
cultural diversity in the arts. Her editorial work appears in Newsweek, 
Fortune, People, Fast Company and Metropolis in addition to working with 
non-profit organizations around the  world. In 2004, she was awarded a Lucie 
Award and also 1st place: photo essay by The Society of Professional 
Journalists for her project "AIDS IS Knocking", a documentary about AIDS 
orphans and widows in Western Kenya. Another award-winning long-term project 
"This Is Beautiful", which has been exhibited around the world looks at body 
image and redefines the innate beauty of all women.  Amanda has also worked 
extensively with youth media projects internationally, teaching photography as 
a tool for documentary storytelling creating a voice and outlet for 
underrepresented youth. Koster is a 2006 recipient of the GAP Grant and 
additionally  "Money For Women In the Arts/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund" for 
her project Moroccan Women's Song Project. The project, collaboration with 
Festival Fès, documents female Berber and Arab Musicians of Morocco with hopes 
to spark an interest in this region and also show that there is more than one 
image of Women in Islam. Amanda will be featured as 1 of 50 women in the 
upcoming book: "In Their Shoes." (by Deborah Reber, publisher: Simon & 
Schuster, 2007) The book will give teen girls the real scoop on different 
careers through profiles of women thriving in their fields. The book will
inspire girls to make smart choices and realize their dreams.

Koster studied photography in NYC at the International Center for photography 
and holds a BA degree in anthropology concentrating on women's and religious 
studies from Southern Connecticut State University. She is faculty at the 
Photographic Center Northwest in

Seattle, WA.

Neema Mgana

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