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Group Chairman Marcus Agius speaks tonight at the Women's Forum Global Meeting 2010.

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Group Chairman Marcus Agius speaks tonight at the Women's Forum Global Meeting 2010.

Guests at the Barclays-sponsored event, which starts today in Deauville, France, will discuss the role of women in producing change in areas such as politics, business, the environment and global health.

In his keynote speech, Marcus will discuss Barclays Banking on Change community investment programme and the impact it is having on women in Africa.

The initiative, a global community investment partnership between Barclays and charities CARE and Plan, aims to address the issue of financial exclusion by creating groups in which members pool their savings to make small loans available to fellow members.

Around 70 per cent of those expected to benefit from the initiative are women.

Marcus will also highlight a three-year development project in Katine, Uganda, where Barclays has teamed up with AMREF (African Medical and Research Foundation) and the UK's Guardian newspaper to address the causes of poverty in the community in a targeted and integrated way.

Deanna Oppenheimer, CEO, UK and Western Europe Retail Banking and Vice Chair, Global Retail Banking, will host the event's opening dinner and moderate a panel discussion examining the importance of partnerships between business and non-governmental organisations in helping disadvantaged people worldwide.

Other guests expected to attend the event include Barbara Ann-King, Head of Investments and Marketing, Barclays Stockbrokers, Barclays Wealth; Christine Lagarde, French Minister of Economic Affairs, Industry and Employment; Dominique Reiniche, President Europe Group, The Coca-Cola Company; Angelique Kidjo, singer, songwriter and founder of charity the Batonga Foundation; and Suzanne Mubarak, First Lady of Egypt and founder of the Suzanne Mubarak Women's International Peace

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