On the occasion of the 33rd AU summit, the African Union Commission (AUC) convened a High-Level Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE) in Africa.
The African Women Leaders Fund (AWLF), a joint initiative of the AUC and UN ECA was launched during High-Level Meeting organized. It is anticipated that, together with the recently launched Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) by the African Development Bank, both the AWLF and AFAWA will provide African women with solid impetus for solution-oriented undertakings towards the transformation of the Continent.
The High-Level Meeting on GEWE brought together African Heads of State and Government, key institutions in charge of promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, like: UN Women, UN ECA and other relevant UN agencies, the private sector, senior women leaders and youth. Invited by the AUC and ECA, the Executive Director of the Center for Accelerated Women’s Economic Empowerment (CAWEE) took part at the AWLF launch.
The AWLF was officially launched on February 8, 2020 at a high level breakfast meeting that took place at the Sheraton Hotel. The Office of the AUC Chairperson, through Women, Gender and Development Directorate (WGDD) and the Office of the AU Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security organized the High-Level meeting together with AU Commissioners.
Present at the AWLF launce were: H. E. Sahle-work Zewde President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; H. E. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa; H. E. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda. Present as well were former women Presidents of Liberia, Malawi and Central African Republic. The AUC Commissioner H. E. Moussa Faki, representatives of UN Agencies and dignitaries were as well present at the AWLF launch.
Beyond the African Heads of States, present at the official AWLF launch were Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway, H. E. Erna Solberg and the Prime Minister of Canada H. E. Justine Trudeau, where each one of them delivered their remarks during the AWLF official launch.
Canada’s Prime Minister, H. E. Justine Trudeau pledged $10 Million towards capacity building to advance gender equality, economic development, trade, investment, peace, security and related issues.
The leadership of the AU Commission has identified Women’s Economic Empowerment as a priority for the decade 2020-2030 focusing on the ‘Financial Inclusion of Women’.
As H. E. Moussa Faki, Chairperson of the AUC mentioned it during the AWLF official launch: ”… 2020-2030 will be years of scaling up actions for the financial inclusion of African Women. It is not favor, it is not charity, it is justice…”.
The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway, H. E. Erna Solberg was also present during the official launch of the African Women Leaders Fun.
In her remarks at the AWLF official launch, the Prime Minister gave the assurance that, Norway will provide capacity building support to African women leaders.