Talk Africa: A Conversation with Graça Machel

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Graca Machel

Graca Machel is a former Mozambican freedom fighter, international advocate for women’s and children’s rights, and the only woman in the world to be first lady for two separate countries.

Following Mozambique’s independence in 1975, she was appointed Minister of Education and led a movement to cut the illiteracy rate by 22 percent, and to increase the school-going population from 400,000 to 1.6 million.

Her first marriage was to Mozambique’s first democratically elected president Samora Machel until his death in 1986, and her second marriage was to Nelson Mandela in 1998.

She has also founded various organisations that work to ensure the rights of families and communities across Africa, including the Graça Machel Trust and is a Founding Member of the Elders, an independent group of global leaders who work together for peace and human rights.

Her advocacy for education in Africa has also recently seen her appointed as Chancellor of the African Leadership University, a 21st century education institution that aims to create the next generation of African Leaders.

On this episode of Talk Africa, Graca Machel shares experiences on some of her life’s works on the continent.