Pan African Women’s Organisations (PAWO)’s new president Eunice Iipinge says the 10th congress has decided Namibia will no longer host its regional office. The office will instead move to Angola and the headquarters will remain in South Africa. However, the new secretary general is Grade Kabayo of Uganda, replacing Pinky Sharon Kekana of South Africa. The other four regional offices will be in Tanzania (East Africa), Tunisia (North Africa), Niger (West Africa) and Equatorial Guinea (Central Africa).
Namibia has been unanimously elected to take over the PAWO presidency, and the vice presidency is Kenya (east Africa), Algeria (North Africa), Mali (West Africa), Cameroon (central Africa) and South Africa (southern Africa).
It has been 12 years since PAWO last held its congress. Iipinge noted several developments have since taken place, and these include the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the AU, which has resulted in PAWO becoming a specialised agency of the AU.
“Taking this into account, the latest developments on the continent and on the globe, the resolutions adopted seek to ensure that PAWO is representative and has an agenda aligned to both our continental and international development paradigms of Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030,” stated the newly-elected PAWO president.
Some of the key decisions that were taken at the 10th congress include recognising that agriculture is the backbone of the economy for a significant proportion of countries on the African continent. Therefore, she said, PAWO decided to prioritise the increase of mechanisation and technology in agriculture to strengthen value chains as a means of increasing agricultural productivity.
PAWO decided to work with governments to promote the strategic participation of women in all stages of food production and increase access to land ownership.
On the economy front, PAWO recalled the decision of African heads of state and government at the 33rd African Union ordinary summit to declare 2020 - 2030 the decade of African women’s financial and economic inclusion.
PAWO decided to identify opportunities presented for access to markets by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and urged collaboration with the AU commission to accelerate a policy framework creating a direct link between the trade area and women.
She said congress recognised the benefit of tapping into the mobilisation power of the youth as a means of integrating young people into the PAWO structures.
“Madame Assetou Koite, whom I took over from, is an old person. I am also getting old. That’s why Congress decided to tap into the power of the youth. We have to groom them so they take over when we get old. We decided to have a youth desk in all our structures,” stated Iipinge.
On generational transition, she said PAWO is working on a modality to archive the work of the organisation and honour PAWO founding mothers.
Therefore, she said, the title of Mama Africa has been bestowed on Koite, the former PAWO president and she will lead the panel of eminent persons.
2020-03-05 06:57:20 | 26 days ago