President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has embarked on a continental advocacy to mobilise political and social support for women refugees in Africa.
The President, who is the Chair of the African Union’s Committee on Gender and Development, has begun this action through the Gender and Development Initiative Africa (GIDA), a flagship agenda of the President.
Last Friday evening, President Akufo-Addo, held a forum in Accra to deliberate on how the continent would approach the subject of providing adequate care for displaced women and children.
Participants of the forum, attended by technocrats and technical groups with relevant knowledge on the issue, are to produce a comprehensive and informative report on the status of women refugees in Africa which would be presented at the next African Union Summit by President Akufo-Addo.
The President, in an address at the forum, was confident that the outcome of the deliberations would help provide a blueprint to enhance the livelihoods and conditions of women refugees on the continent.
According to him, the continent had done both past and present generations disservice in not taking care of women displaced due to conflicts.
“We have the duty to extend the blanket of protection to all women and to ensure that upholding their rights is the bedrock for equality and social justice.”
“The specter of tens of millions of young female refugees, growing up without the needed skills to create meaningful lives for themselves is a dangerous one.”
“What do we expect them to do? What opportunities are available to them? How competitive can they be in this global economy? These are questions that must elicit a concerted response from all of us on the continent,” the President said.
He said even though the continent was largely at peace now, conflicts for several decades had left many people displaced, with women being the majority.
The President said the dream of a wealthy and prosperous Africa would be realised if every female child got the opportunity to better herself and contribute to the development of her community.
He stressed the need for countries on the continent to make peace the priority and take advantage of the dynamism and youthful population to build an orderly and prosperous society that promoted peace.
Additionally, he said it was imperative to ensure political stability in all parts of the continent, respect for individual rights and the rule of law.
Aside conflict, he said poverty had become one of the major reasons for people to migrate from one location to another and stressed the need for political leaders to work to address extreme poverty on the continent.
He said the countries could build wealth and prosperity for their citizens when they moved away from the current raw material-dependent economies to adding value to their raw materials.
“The only way to ensuring prosperity in Africa is through value addition activities and transforming and diversifying modern economies so we can generate thousands of good paying jobs for our men and women,” he said.
BY YAW KYEI