COMMUNIQUE OF THE 8TH WAELE AFRICA INTERNATIONAL SUMMIT ON THE ROLE OF AFRICAN WOMEN IN PEACE AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

COMMUNIQUE OF THE 8TH WAELE AFRICA INTERNATIONAL SUMMIT ON THE ROLE OF AFRICAN WOMEN IN PEACE AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

PREAMBLE

The Women Advancement for Economic and Leadership Empowerment Foundation in Africa (WAELE AFRICA) had its 8th International Summit on the theme: “Peace and Sustainable Development: The Role of African Women” from 1st -–3rd November 2018 at Safari Court, Windhoek, Namibia. The Summit was well attended by over 150 participants from 31 African countries.

The Summit was graced by the Founding President of Namibia, His Excellency, Dr. Sam Nujoma; Prime Minister of Namibia, Her Excellency Dr. Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, accompanied by other ministers, and the Secretary General of the ruling party SWAPO in Namibia, Madam Sophia Shaningwa; former President of United Republic of Tanzania, His Excellency Mr Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete; former First Lady of Namibia, Her Excellency Lady Penehupifo Pohamba; Serving Ministers from different African countries were in attendance. The Summit was also graced by members of the Diplomatic Corps in Namibia, panellists and delegates cutting across various disciplines as well as NGOs. Researchers, Media Professionals, Traditional Rulers, Religious Leaders, Representatives of African Youths and Women from all walks of life also participated. The Summit was declared officially opened by the Founding father and former President of Namibia, His Excellency, Dr. Sam Nujoma.

The Keynote Address was delivered by Prof. Cheryl Hendricks, Executive Director, Human Science Research Council, Africa Institute of South Africa who set the discussion pace by presenting statistics showing that not much had been achieved with regards to the United Nations Resolution 1325 within the African framework.

SUB-THEMES

The seven sub-themes which constituted seven panels of discussion were:

  • Panel 1: Domestication of United Nation Security Council Resolution 1325 on Peace, Women & Security
  • Panel 2: Peace Keeping and Nation Building
  • Panel 3: The Role of Traditional/Religious Leaders in Peace and Sustainable Development in Africa
  • Panel 4: The Role of Media in Peace Management, Negotiation & Transformation
  • Panel 5: Women and Children Trafficking: The Socio – Economic and Devastating Effects in Africa
  • Panel 6: The Effects of Ethno – Religious Conflicts on Women and Children in Africa
  • Panel 7: The Role of Youths in Conflict Transformation, Mediation and National Development

OBSERVATIONS

During the three-day high-powered deliberations, the summit:

  1. Noted with concern the dwindling nature of the domestication of the United Nations Resolution 1325 in Africa;
  2. Expressed worries over the proliferation of conflicts in Africa;
  • Highlighted poverty as a major cause of conflict in Africa;
  1. Noted the impoverished participation of girls and women in the armed forces and Peacekeeping missions of African countries;
  2. Noted the underutilisation and underrepresentation of women in decision making processes in Africa;
  3. Highlighted the lack of information and sensitisation of African women in rural areas on their roles as peace mediators and their human rights;
  • Identified with the forty-year plight of the people of Western Sahara, particularly women and children, who have been suffering human right abuses under the colonialist thumb of Morocco with the stealthy support of regional organisations and great powers like France;
  • Noted the indispensability of the African youth in conflict prevention, management and sustainable development and lamented the low rate of youth education and employment;
  1. Noted the lack of complete freedom of Press in Africa and commended Namibia for their stride towards achieving same;
  2. Noted the important roles of religious and traditional leaders in conflict management and sustainable national development.

RESOLUTIONS

At the end of the deliberations, the Summit resolved as follows:

  • That there is need to re-strategize and build the capacity of women at the grassroots towards the actualization of the United Nations Resolution 1325 in Africa;
  • That immediate disarmament of War-torn zones should be embarked upon by African governments;
  • That Presidents of African countries must utilize the human potentials in women for management of conflicts as well as decision making processes on the continent;
  • That the girl-child should be encouraged and their capacity building enhanced to prepare them for recruitment in armed forces and peacekeeping missions in Africa in order to increase their participation and representation;
  • That women in governance and different organisations need cooperation and networking among themselves to enable the achievement of Peace and sustainable development on the continent;
  • That the UN, AU, and governments of African countries should, as a matter of urgency, ensure the decolonization of Western Sahara and to restore the dignity of its people while ensuring urgent action to redress the state of Western Sahara such that those living in refugee camps/IDP are reinstated and re-established in accordance with the decisions of the AU and the relevant UN Security Council’s resolutions;
  • That WAELE AFRICA should mobilise 100 women Leaders across Africa and beyond to sign a 1 million women petition for the United Nations to enforce Human Rights in Western Sahara. The petition will be submitted to the African Union Commission, the European Union and the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva;
  • That Africans at individual and collective levels must encourage political awareness and partnership as well as mobilization towards political commitment and strengthening of women as peace promoters. To this end, the human potentials in women must be judiciously utilized;
  • That the African youth needs to be educated, employed and sensitised to participate meaningfully and positively in government and sustainable development;
  • That the culture of peace be built by African member-states of the United Nations particularly through the reduction of poverty and empowerment of more African women;
  • That Freedom of Press must be entrenched in Africa if the continent must enjoy peaceful coexistence and sustainable development;
  • That Traditional and Religious leaders must be decisively engaged in conflict management processes at all levels in Africa;

 

CONCLUSION

The Summit was declared closed by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Namibia, Her Excellency Dr. Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, who enjoined WAELE AFRICA not to relent in its commitment to empowering women and entrenching peace and sustainable development in Africa. The Summit climaxed with the 8th WAELE AFRICA Grand Dinner/Award Night which was held to recognize and celebrate 20 African women and men who have contributed to the emancipation of African women. The awardees included His Excellency President Kikwete, first African Head of State to appoint over 50% of women into decision making positions including his Cabinet, and Her Excellency Lady Pohamba who were decorated as the Grand Patron and Matron of WAELE AFRICA, respectively. Accepting the award on behalf of the awardees, President Kikwete reaffirmed his commitment to WAELE AFRICA. The 9th WAELE AFRICA Foundation Peace Summit will be held in November 2019 in Juba, South Sudan.

Windhoek, 3rd November, 2018

1 Comment

  • St Sam Solomon November 10, 2018 5:35 pm

    We greatly support the dreams of the African woman, Research has shown that they can do better in governance than men,we can say its true because our fathers have failed us…….

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