Africa needs to define itself by its potential and not by the challenges it faces. This is according to Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Hajer Sharief.

Speaking at the closing of the 2nd annual African Women in Dialogue conference in Boksburg on the East Rand – the Libyan activist says Africans are too comfortable with the narrative that the continent is poor and dangerous.

More than 1000 women from countries across the continent attended the week-long conference.

Wrapping up the week-long discussions on how to ensure women are included in decision-making on the continent, Sharief says it’s time for women in Africa to stop being afraid of setting the agenda.

The activist from Libya says African women must speak and act in unison to not only change the narrative, but the reality.

Sharief says the West has been dictating what should happen in Africa for far too long.

Reflecting on this week’s dialogue – participants agree that they should broaden the AfWID dialogue and create chapters in each country and region. They acknowledge identifying the challenges is only the first step.

The organisers have called on the delegates to raise awareness and funds so that the African Women In Dialogue can grow beyond the yearly conference.