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Women’s rights advocate from Ghana receives 2015 Katherine Fleming International Development Award

Oct. 3, 2015

ANTIGONISH, Nova Scotia – Family, classmates and friends of the late Katherine (Katie) Fleming, StFX’85, honoured her legacy by presenting a scholarship in her name to Patricia Blankson Akakpo of Ghana, in a ceremony today at St. Francis Xavier University's Coady Institute.

The annual award, now in its 16th year, recognizes an African woman in the Diploma in Development Leadership program who exemplifies commitment to social justice for women and children.

“Ms. Fleming graduated from StFX 30 years ago, and left a legacy of care and compassion that I intend to build upon,” said Ms. Akakpo. “Promoting and securing the rights of women and children in our country will help eradicate poverty by letting them control their own livelihoods. I am deeply honoured to receive this award.”

Ms. Akakpo is a program manager with the Network for Women’s Rights in Ghana, a network of 75 civil society organizations and 150 individuals that advocates for policy changes to strengthen women’s human rights.

“For example, in our natural resources work, we point out inequalities when women can’t access land to make a living. Land is a crucial asset for them. We also encourage debate locally and at the national level about making sure gender issues are considered before crucial decisions are made that affect women’s livelihoods.”

“Patricia Akakpo is a community leader with a strong vision of how life can be improved for the women of Ghana,” said Dr. June Webber, director of Coady Institute and VP at StFX. “We, along with the Fleming family, and Katie Fleming’s many friends, are inspired by her commitment to the citizens of Ghana.”


About Coady International Institute

Through its unique, community-based approach, Coady International Instituteequips citizen leaders to address contemporary global challenges and opportunities. Since 1959, more than 7,000 Coady graduates and partners have worked in 130 countries to build a fair, prosperous and secure world – one community at a time.