Rendeavour, Africa’s largest new city builder, has launched RenWoman, an initiative to empower women and narrow the gender gap in Africa. The launch took place in New York City in conjunction with the Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD) and the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU).

RenWoman’s mission is to create an enabling and progressive environment for the advancement of women in the workplace through knowledge sharing, networking and leadership development to ensure the personal and professional success of women. RenWoman initiatives will be carried out by Rendeavour’s team of women professionals in partnership with organisations and individuals committed to gender equality on the continent and globally.

“Achieving gender balance and ensuring diversity is a priority of Rendeavour’s senior management and Board of Directors,” said Odema Ogbeh, Head of Human Resources and Corporate Services at Rendeavour. “Put simply, women mean business. Research shows that companies with greater gender diversity tend to perform better financially.”

According to UN Women, the majority of women in Africa work in unsecure, poorly paid jobs, with few opportunities for advancement. A 2018 study by the International Monetary Fund indicates that policies are needed to provide women with skills and close gender gaps in leadership positions.

Speaking at the launch, Meghan Hagberg, BCIU’s senior vice president, recognised RenWoman’s mission to empower women and youth. “BCIU and its leadership look forward to providing platforms and resources to mobilize support for RenWoman,” she said.

The launch event was attended by Rebecca Akufo-Addo, First Lady of Ghana; Jeannette Nyiramongi Kagame, First Lady of Rwanda; Monica Geingos, First Lady of Namibia; Antoinette Sassou Nguesso, First Lady of Republic of Congo; and Keïta Aminata Maiga, First Lady of Mali. As members of OAFLAD, all African First Ladies advocate for favourable policies on accessible healthcare and laws aimed at boosting female and youth empowerment.

In Kenya, Rendeavour is the developer of Tatu City, a 5,000-acre, mixed-use development with homes, schools, offices, a shopping district, medical clinics, nature areas, a sport & entertainment complex and manufacturing area for more than 150,000 residents and tens of thousands of day visitors.

Women at Rendeavour have already spearheaded mentoring initiatives to promote skills training, career opportunities, personal wellbeing and financial literacy in local communities at Rendeavour developments.

Rendeavour is a new city developer in Africa, with over 12,000 hectares (30,000 acres) of city-scale developments in Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo. Rendeavour is creating the living and working spaces that will help sustain and accelerate Africa’s economic growth.