How Girls Become Leaders with Joyce Banda – CGD Podcast

July 18, 2018

Leaders—are they born, or made? And why does that matter for developing countries?

“If indeed leaders are born with 30 percent [leadership] traits and society has to add on the 70 percent, what about those that are living in India, in Africa, in Asia, in ultra-poor households?” asks Joyce Banda, former president of Malawi and a former distinguished visiting fellow here at CGD. “What are the opportunities, what are the chances of this girl-child?”

Joyce Banda was Malawi’s first woman president, and Africa’s second. So she knows a thing or two about what young girls need to grow up into leaders. In her new book From Day One, she draws from both her own childhood experiences and the wealth of knowledge she has accumulated throughout her career to offer lessons on how to help African girls reach their full potential.

In this episode of the podcast, she sits down with CGD President Masood Ahmed to discuss the book, and to highlight what she calls a “lost opportunity” for the development community—here’s a sneak peek:

Learn more about the book and order a copy of your own here.


CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.