Prof. Sarah Ssali, an Associate Prof. and Dean at the School of Women and Gender Studies, and the Director Centre of Excellence in Notions of Identity at Makerere University is set to deliver the keynote at the East African session of the Young African Women Congress (YAWC) 2022.

The congress which is scheduled to take place from 22nd to 25th May 2022 at the Kenya School of Government, Lower Kabete, Nairobi under the theme, “Network for Empowerment: Refuelling a Continent on The Rise,” will be chaired by Hon. Prof. Margaret J. Kamar, 1st Deputy Speaker of the Senate of Kenya and will witness a series of activities including panel sessions, group brainstorming sessions, various presentations and workshops among others.

Prof. Ssali will speak on the theme during the opening ceremony which will take place on 23rd May and is anticipated to bring her rich experience in gender studies to bear by specifically dissecting the essence of building networks in reference to the women empowerment agenda which could inure to the benefit of the continent of Africa as a whole.

Prof. Ssali is a Social Scientist with a PhD in International Health Studies, MA in Gender Studies and BA in Social Sciences (Political Science and Public Administration). She is an experienced researcher with vast experience in qualitative and quantitative research methods including surveys, social networks analysis, ethnographic methods, life histories and narratives. She has researched and published in the area of health systems, health financing, HIV and AIDS, post conflict settings, hidden behaviours and the oppressed minorities in society. Gender and ethical issues have been overarching principles in all her research.

Prof. Ssali teaches identities, institutions and social transformation, which includes understanding how certain behaviours and identities become normalized and dominant. She also teaches Politics and the State from a gender perspective, as well as Fundamentals of Social Science and Health, highlighting gender relations in policy and practice, effects of policy and how policy shape identities and citizenship.

She is currently involved in several research projects funded by UKRI, MRC, WHO and Makerere University where she plays different roles as Principal Investigator, Co-Principal Investigator and researcher. She is a member of the Makerere University Council (2011 to date); Chair, Makerere University Quality Assurance and Gender Committee of Council (2021 to date); Member, Makerere University Appointments Board (2015 to date) and member of the University Senate (2017 to date).

Outside Makerere University she is the Chair of the Board of the Next Generation of Social Sciences Programme of the Social Sciences Research Council in New York, member of the Expert Scientific Group of the IMPALA Lung Health Consortium (Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine), member of the advisory board of SIHI (Uganda), a social innovation hub which show cases locally developed strategies for health improved.

Prof. Ssali is currently interested in Afrocentrism and Gender issues and how these identities can be leveraged to advance African societies. Intersectionality is central to her analysis.

She brings in a lot of insight and experience which will be beneficial to the objectives and conversations that will emerge at the congress.

YAWC is open to all young women of African descent in Africa and the diaspora who are interested in making a difference in their lives and the lives of other women and girls. Through its network, the YAWC Network, YAWC is reaching out to and transforming the lives of many women and girls right from the grassroots to the highest levels, all for a more secured and progressive continent