Ministers of Gender and Women Affairs of the African Union are meeting in Addis Ababa to strategize on gender programmes to present to the Assembly of Heads of State and Government which meets in the same Ethiopia capital next week.
The Gender Pre-summit of Ministers is being chaired by Malawi’s Gender Minister Honourable Dr Jean Kalilani MP in her capacity as Chairperson of the Specialized Technical Committee of the African Union on Gender and Women Empowerment.
Speaking in an interview with the Malawi News Agency (Mana) Monday, Kalilani said it is an honour for Malawi to chair the continental meeting adding that it is a testament of the faith and trust the continent has in Malawi’s capabilities.
She said, “Malawi is a leader on the market in many aspects all owing the direction set forth by President Mutharika who has always encouraged us to serve the nation with zeal and dedication. ”
And to highlight Kalilani’s statement, it has been disclosed that the theme of the African Union for the year 2017: “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in the Youth,” was proposed by President Prof Arthur Peter Mutharika and was unanimously adopted by AU Heads of State during their meeting in January 2016.
Malawi’s Ambassador to the Ethiopia and the African union, Chimango Chirwa, disclosed that in line with the theme, the Gender caucus is expected to highlight the plight of the girl child, and call upon member states of the Union to adopt measures that will ensure that the potential of the girl child is harnessed.
“In this regard, the Minister’s Pre-Summit which commenced on 22 January 2017 will run concurrently and in consultation with a Pan-African Youth Conference which is also being held ahead of the arrival of the African Heads of State,” he said.
As chair of the Gender committee, Malawi through the Ministry of Gender will showcase the successes of its committee at the Summit, especially regarding progress on the gender scorecard and the AU Gender Strategy which is being championed under Malawi’s chairpersonship.
The AU Summit for heads of state and Government will take place from January 30-31, 2017 at the African Union Headquarters in Ethiopia where one of the hot agendas is the election of the Chairperson of the African Union to replace the outgoing Nkosanzana Zuma from South Africa. (By Chikondi Chimala Lilongwe, January 23, 2017, Mana)