OAFLAD to mark 20th anniversary in June 

By Lydia Kukua Asamoah  

Accra, Feb 25, GNA – The Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD), will host its 20th-anniversary celebrations in Kinshasa, Congo, in June 2023. 

The celebrations will be used as a high-level advocacy platform, create new partnerships, and raise funds to support the work being done by the first ladies in their respective countries.  

The announcement was made at the 27th Ordinary General Assembly of OAFLAD, held on the sidelines of the African Union summit hosted in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from February 18 to 19.  

Mrs Monica Geingos,  First Lady of Namibia, and President of OAFLAD, who announced the event said funds raised would enable the members to continue with their advocacy on policy and social change in Africa. 

She used the occasion to commend the members of OAFLAD for playing  “incredible roles in their countries and in undertaking various initiatives to support the most vulnerable, especially, women.  

The meeting was held on the theme: “Closing Gaps in Gender Equity,” and it was attended by first ladies from Ghana, Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Kenya, Namibia, Niger, Sierra Leone, and Comoros, as well as other technical officials and some development partners. 

There were representatives from Nigeria, Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Malawi, Rwanda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe who represented their first ladies.  

The first ladies resolved to mount a 2023 campaign aimed at closing gender gaps in education, health, and economic inclusion for women across Africa.  

The campaign when launched would require high-level advocacy and collaborative actions led by the first ladies, working in partnership with policymakers and development partners.  

They also discussed among others, the need for OAFLAD to strengthen collaborations with stakeholders by strategically positioning the organization to attract partnerships and funding from donors. 

Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, Ghana’s first lady in a remark, said, leaving women and girls who form half of the world’s population behind was like “leaving half of the world behind.”  

She, therefore, called on her counterparts to use their platforms of influence to bridge the gender gap by ensuring that girls and boys have equitable access to education right from the onset.  

She also urged them to work toward improving access to healthcare for women and girls while urging development partners and allies to continue working with OAFLAD in their pursuit of closing gaps in gender equity.  

Mrs Akufo-Addo urged her counterparts to endeavour to rally women to take up leadership and decision-making roles.  

In separate remarks, OAFLAD’s development partners including Gavi, WHO, UNAIDS and the African Union Commission, commended the first ladies for working to improve gender parity through education and health and called for greater collaboration in advancing the work of improving gender equity