The final step of the personal and professional development programme I created using the Bantu life philosophy as inspiration is called Harmonization. Harmonization enables you to use all the elements necessary to make you contribute to your business, your life and your community to the best of your ability.

An excellent Harmonization will make you feel as though all the parts of your work and life are singing in harmony in a choir set up, trained and conducted by you. When this happens, you will not only achieve success, but you will also be able to use your success to leave a lasting legacy to your community and, ultimately, humanity.

I thought a lot about Harmonization while I was participating in the leadership summit of the African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative (AWEC) in Kigali two weeks ago. As we whooped, clapped and cheered a succession of outstanding speakers, I watched and wondered: will the energy, excitement and positivity live on after the summit? Will we be able to use these elements as catalysts for concrete action and collaboration? Will we grab this unique opportunity to join forces and work in harmony to make a lasting contribution to our businesses, our lives and our communities? Won’t we let these wonderful words and ideas fizzle out as we pack our bags, return to our countries and submerge ourselves in the demands of our families and jobs?

Then it hit me. Ensuring that AWEC leaves a lasting legacy cannot be a spectator sport. It was my responsibility –as well as that of other members- to make sure that this summit did not go down as yet another gathering where people came, talked, felt good about themselves for a few hours, and then settled back into their daily routine, as if this event had not happened.

It was up to me and my fellow members to make the most of not just the Kigali summit, but also AWEC itself. This network, which transcends national and cultural barriers, gives us the unique opportunity to practise Harmonization by channelling our different skills, experiences and abilities towards the realization of our ideas, the strengthening of our businesses and the improvement of our communities.

Since returning from Kigali, I am more inclined to reach out to other AWEC members and follow up on suggestions for collaboration. Furthermore, I am more determined to leverage the potential of AWEC to strengthen my business and my contribution to my community.

Sylvie Aboa-Bradwell, CEO, Medzan Training                  Contact Sylvie