Women key in sustainable economic development in Africa - Geingob

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Sharon Kavhu

Windhoek - Namibian President Hage Geingob has urged the Pan African Women’s Organisation (PAWO) to be geared to empower African women and give them the initiative to become productive and healthy citizens of the continent.

Speaking during the 10th congress of Pan African Women’s Organisation (PAWO) last week, Geingob said women are key in the sustainable economic development of the continent.

In-line with the congress’ theme: “Accelerate African Women’s Action towards Achieving Sustainable Economic Development within the context of the UN Agenda 2030 and AU Agenda 2063”, Geingob noted the need for PAWO to involve the girl-child in their activities, ensuring that her needs and aspirations are part of PAWO activities.

“As global health advocate and sister of the African soil, Toyin Ojora-Saraki, aptly states, 'an empowered woman is a productive woman, a health seeking woman, and therefore a woman who can be entrusted with the survival and well-being of herself and her family'. With this in mind, it is crucial that the activities of PAWO are geared to empower our women, give them the initiative to become productive and healthy citizens of Africa, and in so doing, entrust them to safeguard their survival and that of our entire African family,” said Geingob.

He said women empowerment can no longer be a dream but a reality, a daily practice not a goal and urged Africa to walk the path of women empowerment.

President Geingob said the PAWO congress was held at the most convenient time where a woman’s potential and impact was being recognised at global level.

“The year 2020 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, a women’s advancement blueprint, to which the women of Africa have made a significant contribution.   It will also mark the 75th Anniversary of the formation of the United Nations.  These events are taking place at a time when the world has realized that only by investing in women’s economic empowerment can we achieve gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth.”

He acknowledged the efforts being made by POWO in advocating for women’s empowerment in Africa adding that the efforts gave birth to an establishment which made the organisation a Specialised Agency of the African Union. He said the decision to absorb PAWO as a specialized agency is in line with the January 2018 decision of AU Heads of State and Government to align 50/50 gender parity in the African Union workforce by 2025. 

In a bit to implement the congress theme, Geingob urged POWO to work closely with the UN Economic Commission on Africa to identify opportunities for African Women in the areas of trade and investment.

As a founding member of POWO, Geingob said his country prioritises the issue of gender parity as a means of addressing historical imbalances and injustices towards women. He said his country acknowledged that poverty eradication would not be achieved if women were left behind.

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