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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chinkombaleza gumanyundo gowa
chinkombaleza gumanyundo gowa

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.

Sammy Chapita

Thanks Make Wongani For Being Recognised


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


Amalawian kumuzi kwawo kuti? Kkkkkk




Something positive about Malawi ( not the Malawi government)


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!


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


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.


Iziso nde ziti. Muonongaso tu apa


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

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