WOMEN IN AFRICA LEADERSHIP: WOMEN IN GOVERNMENT & POLITICS CONFERENCE (WIGP) LONDON!
NEWS & EVENTS Thursday, December 5, 2013
Nigeria's Petroleum Minister Deizani Alison Madueke and some Nigeria Female politicians were among Women in Africa Leadership who attended the Women in Government and Politics Conference (WIGP) convened by the WJSeries held at Central Hall in Westminster, London.
African women have made remarkable strides in positions of leadership and authority across the continent. This has been especially evident with the wave of democratization over the past two decades. Women now occupy presidential seats in Liberia and Malawi, foreign ministry portfolios in Rwanda, Kenya and Somalia, the leadership of the African Union and many other positions hitherto regarded as the exclusive domain of men. It is in order to take stock of the progress made so far, the existing challenges remaining and how to overcome them that the first Women in Government and Politics Conference for Africa was organised.
The WIGP2013 Conference is the brainchild of Winihin Ayuli-Jemide founder of the Winihin Jemide Series (WJSeries). According to her it began with her reading about the Uganda's youngest Parliamentarian Proscovia Alengot. Hon Alengot got into office at the tender age of 19 making her not just Uganda's youngest ever parliamentarian but also the World's.
President Joyce Banda (Malawi) and President Goodluck Jonathan (Nigeria) sent video messages supporting the event's agenda while Former President John Kufuor (Ghana) sent a letter.
It was indeed an intense series of deliberations amongst the women representing 16 African Countries with Speeches, Breakout Sessions and Network building. Those who Spoke or Chaired in the Question and Answer panels include:
Madam Grace Kabayo- Uganda (Executive Secretary, Pan African Women Organization)
Dr. Dere Awosika- Nigeria (Former Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power)
Dr. Nic Cheeseman- UK (Oxford University)
Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke- Nigeria (Minister for Petroleum Resources)
Mary Chinery-Hesse- Ghana (Former Vice Chairman, National Development Planning Commission)
Dr. Elsie Scott- USA (Howard University)
Aisha Al-Hassan- Nigeria (Senator)
Dr. Erika Bennett- Ghana (Founder and Head of African Union Diaspora Forum)
Proscovia Alengot- Uganda (Parliamentarian)
Nkechi Nwago- Nigeria (Senator)
Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke while delivering a keynote address, noted that 11 African countries have reached the 30% benchmark of female representation in leadership positions through quotas and parity schemes. In fact, countries like Nigeria had surpassed this average, she reminded the audience. The Minister however reiterated the need for women to be proactive in supporting one another.
In addition, a Nigerian Senator, Jummai Alhassan stressed that successful women ought to sponsor younger women, as opposed to limiting themselves to mentorships only. Dr. Mary Chinery-Hesse, a former Deputy Director General of the International Labour Organisation from Ghana underscored the need to revive some traditional African values which placed women at the forefront. While Mrs. Allison-Madueke emphasized that the successful ones should "pull up as many women as possible up the ladder" and put aside their "petty grievances and nuances".
A framework was agreed to which signatures were collected to create a working document that will be submitted to all the Heads of Government in Africa.
Posted by Sisi Yemmie at Thursday, December 05, 2013