First Ladies of Africa, attending a forum of the Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD) ongoing at the United Nations General Assembly in New York have stressed the need to prioritise and streamline existing dynamics for making women empowerment programmes more impactful and measurable.
They also agreed on the need to increase visibility of the organisation by deploying both traditional and social media in a more purposeful manner.
The First Ladies also discussed how to attract strategic partnerships, and build relationships that would facilitate access to technical support and critical assistance for their work to enable them address the challenges that women in Africa face.
OAFLAD has been working in its 20 years of existence to, firstly, eliminate HIV/AIDS in Africa. In the last four years, it has broadened its ambit to include other developmental issues that focus on the wellbeing of women and vulnerable populations in Africa.
The First Lady of Ghana, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, commended the First Lady of Namibia and current OAFLAD President, Monica Geingos, for spearheading OAFLAD with renewed energy, building on the foundation laid by her predecessors.
Mrs Akufo-Addo called for greater efficiency and commitment in OAFLADS fund raising efforts.
She charged members to consider using advocacy as a fund-raising mechanism to support causes that challenge existing problems and draw the attention of strategic partners and funders to partner relevant and laudable programmes.
In addition, Mrs Akufo-Addo called for greater efforts in mainstreaming the needs of persons who live with disabilities in the strategic focus of OAFLAD.
The President of OAFLAD, Monica Geingos, tasked her sister First Ladies to use their offices in strategic ways that empower women and engender development in Africa.
As part of the 20th year anniversary celebrations of OAFLAD, a fundraising event would be held in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The First Ladies pledged to continue advocacy, by speaking with a united voice for issues of concern to African women.
In attendance were First Ladies from Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Zambia as well as Zimbabwe. Also present, were partners from the Buffet Foundation, the Ford Foundation and other international NGOs.