Malawian wins Africa Most Influential Women award

A Malawian woman, who is also the Executive Director of Panos Institute Southern Africa (PSAf) Lilian Saka Kiefer has been recognised as one of Africa’s most influential women, after winning two awards for her work in creating life changing impact in the lives of the poor and marginalised.

Executive Director of Panos Institute Southern Africa (PSAf) Lilian Kiefer

Executive Director of Panos Institute Southern Africa (PSAf) Lilian Kiefer

The Malawian was named Regional Winner in the Welfare and Civil Society Category of the 2015/2016 edition of Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government Awards, held in Lusaka, Zambia on Friday 18th September.

She was also named country winner for Zambia in the same category.

These awards are organised by CEO Communications, a South Africa based company.

The awards have been described as a pre-eminent recognition platform for women who have become a force to be reckoned with in various spheres of influence across the African Continent.

In an interview with Nyasa Times from her base in Lusaka, University of Malawi graduate Lilian said she was humbled for the recognition.

“I am truly humbled by the recognition. There are a lot of women in our region who are making great impact through great works, and for this award to be given to me for this season, is truly humbling. I am thankful and most indebted to my team at PSAF who do most of the work that l supervise, as well as all our stakeholders, media practioners and community groups who PSAf works with for the collaboration and the support that makes our work possible,” said Lilian whose father was professor at Chancellor College.

The chairperson of PSAf, Juliet Langa said the two awards received by Lilian are a great source of pride, as they view them as a vote of confidence in PSAf’s work to amplify voices of the poor and marginalised to drive Southern Africa’s development.

“These awards encourage and energise us to continue working hard to contribute towards a Southern Africa community that drives its own development. We are greatly indebted to the various donors, media practitioners, civil society organisations, communities and other implementing partners whose support and participation in our work led to this recognition,” said Langa.

Lilian holds Master of Arts Degree in Development Studies from the University of the Free State, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Humanities from the University of Malawi, and a Certificate in Investigating, Monitoring and Reporting Human Rights Violations, and in Introduction to Human Rights, from the University of Oxford and Fahamu. She has also attended a number of trainings in project management.

As the head of management at the PSAf secretariat, Lilian is responsible for the overall management and strategic direction of the organisation. She leads a team of professionals in the development and implementation of programmes that are aimed at achieving the organization’s goal of empowering communities across Southern Africa to drive their own development. Top on this agenda is the development and implementation of the organization’s current Strategic Plan for 2012 to 2016.

Lilian also serves as the link between PSAf staff and board members, and the organisation’s partners, donors, stakeholders and other Panos Institutes, to ensure that the organisation maintains a strong profile among all its stakeholders.

Since 2006, Lilian has served PSAf in various capacities having joined the organisation as a Senior Programme Officer for the HIV/AIDS programme. She rose through the ranks to become the regional manager for the HIV/AIDS and Health Programmes, a position she held until her appointment as Executive Director.

Before joining PSAf, Lilian worked as a Gender and HIV and AIDS Programme Coordinator for Concern Universal Malawi and as a Programme Manager for Youth Net and Counselling. She also undertook consultancies as a social researcher for the Centre for Social Research at the University of Malawi.

Lilian has experience working directly with marginalized communities including commercial sex workers, teenage mothers, and people living with HIV and AIDS and many other marginalised groups.

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41 thoughts on “Malawian wins Africa Most Influential Women award”

  1. chinkombaleza gumanyundo gowa says:

    Some one is asking about Linda’s origin. She is a tonga by tribe. the father Prof SAKA who is now a Vice Chancellor of the University of Malawi comes from Nkhata Bay. Bravo Linda.

  2. Sammy Chapita says:

    Thanks Make Wongani For Being Recognised

  3. Patriot says:

    That’s very encouraging. Let us keep on working hard. It is the only way to success.

  4. Vwapuvwapu says:

    Amalawian kumuzi kwawo kuti? Kkkkkk

  5. Napunch says:


  6. Dwambazi says:

    Something positive about Malawi ( not the Malawi government)

  7. Chilungamo says:

    Bravo! Zi atsikana zina zili kunozi ntchito uhule basi, koma kutaya zimimba, kupempha ma units ndi kuyenda ndi azimuna a weni. Mmalo momalimbikira xul!
    God Bless you Mama!

  8. levelheaded says:

    Very beautiful. I like her cheeks and lips. Though am only 24 koma mwai utandigwera pa inu sindingachitire mwina.

  9. ngongoliwa says:

    So Lilian you are still shinning out there.A product of Mulungzi secondary School, my school mate. Keep visiting us here in your home district Mulanje. The Lomwes are proud of you mama.

    1. He says:

      Iziso nde ziti. Muonongaso tu apa

  10. Dodolido says:

    Nchiyani kodi a Malawi? Nkhani yabwino ngati iyi, ma comment omwewa. Nsanje basi. I ma proud of you madam.

  11. khuere says:

    we have many wemen down the ladder who are also doing un recognised good work this must done with good faith.

  12. Mai Ru says:

    Lilian, this is great work. In his time he makes all things Beautiful.

  13. chinthu says:

    Chanakazi ntchakutowa ichi size ikukana

  14. ex naperi resident says:

    This lady is a product of Saint Pius Girls. Kudos to Catholic Schools Education standards

  15. Dikisan says:

    Lilian, Beauty must be supported with what you have done. Keep it up our Queen!

  16. Zangazatha says:

    Atumbuka nzeru. Mabulutu enanu mwawona? uyutu si wa Quota System uyu. Congratulations Nyasaka

    1. He says:

      Saka is from Kasungu please.

      1. Baba wa boy says:

        If it is north Kasungu, they are all Tumbukas there, don’t forget Mzimba used to go as far as Dwangwa river.

  17. nabanda says:

    congrats Lilian

  18. Docas says:

    Congrats Lilian. Alot of women are capable of doing great things in the society but there is one hindrance called HUSBAND. I wonder why the majority of husbands do not support their brainy and talented wives all what they know is to discourage.

    1. He says:

      are you married Docas? If so, we now we know what sort of marriage you have.

  19. johni says:

    Congrats a former classmate

  20. Gile says:

    Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you have made us Malawians proud. Keep it up.

  21. Katewe says:

    Bobo Mai! Keep on carrying the burnering fire (frames) around the world!

  22. Gerald says:

    Congratulations Lilian.very proud of our Chanco Yearo 95/96.

  23. Napwito says:

    Ndiwenso wokongola……mapwevupwevu:)

  24. Pat says:

    Very Proud of you Sister,keep on shinning

  25. che iman says:

    congratulations my dear!!!!!! u have made Malawi proud

  26. masa masina says:

    She was my student at Chanco. I am proud of you Ms

  27. The Painter says:

    Congratulations keep it up Lilian

  28. Exiled Soul's says:

    Good news that soothes Malawian soul’s somehow, than our daily tear dropping headlines every hour.congrats to you Lillian, you are one of the source of hope and pride to the wishes

  29. Nyani wa ku Mwananyani says:

    Congratulations are due to Ms Kiefer.
    We badly need Malawians to achieve beyond the region, so that people who matter in the world, can point out our country on the map of the world. And we are still not there yet. Not even by a long shot.
    We need our own Dambisa Moyos and James Manyikas! The vocal Zambian (woman) world renown economist, and the Zimbabwean (on Obama’s staff) whose seminars on strategic planning for the future of industry and the world economy is, arguably, second to none. just listen to some of his podcasts and seminars. His views are readily available, just by googling.
    Malawi was part of the federation with Zambia and Zimbabwe. But how long should we wait for someone to break out on our behalf, the way Moyo and Manyika have done? Could this malaise be partly be due to Kamuzu’s proto-dictatorship, in that it might have seriously thwarted critical thinking among the kachenjedes (Malawian academics and students) of that era? And that the effects of the suppression of critical thinking, without fear, will last longer than we ever imagined? Some have said that this is theundeniable opportunity cost of that dreaded era.

  30. Gunyani says:

    Lilian ur a star we are proud of u

  31. Gremson Swart says:

    Congratulations Sis. You are my role model ever since. God bless you!

  32. Reason says:


  33. Charter says:

    Congratulations Lilian

  34. mosewalelo says:

    ulibooo! Lilian takunyadilani

  35. Helo says:

    Well done, At least good news about Malawi not the depressing news about APM 100+ entourage and other Malawi govt mediocrities.

  36. congratulation you are great and a source of pride to Malawi nation.

  37. Peter Muthanyula says:

    Congrats Lilian! You make Chanco yearo 95/96 proud!!!

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