Address at the dinner in honour of African First Ladies by Her Excellency Dame (Dr.) Patience Goodluck Jonathan, First Lady Federal Republic of Nigeria and President African First Ladies Peace Mission at the Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja on Thursday, July 26, 2012
I warmly welcome you all to this Dinner in honour of the First Ladies of Africa and our distinguished guests taking part in this 7th summit of the African First Ladies Peace Mission.
I must say that I feel honoured by your presence, which indicates your commitment to the work of the African First Ladies Peace Mission and our collective vision of a peaceful, stable and prosperous Africa.
I appreciate your spirit of solidarity and concern for the condition of women in our continent.
My dear sisters, Your Excellencies, distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I am happy to assure you that the African First Ladies Peace Mission is on course.
May I also inform this honourable gathering that the First Ladies of Africa are determined to register our voice as a strong force, working for peace in our continent.
We all recognize and accept the need for a strong and credible voice for women in decision-making and peace processes in our continent.
However, we should not forget the progress that has been made so far.
Only last year, we celebrated with two great African women, Her Excellency, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Ms Leymah Gbowee, both of Liberia who were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, together with Madam Tawakkul Karman of Yemen.
African women are making great achievements in various fields of human endeavour, and bringing glory to our continent.
I seize this opportunity to appreciate the efforts of all the women in our continent who have contributed to promoting peace and development in their countries.
This is a confirmation that women are natural peace- makers and bridge-builders.
It is now our responsibility to offer our own contributions by making conscious efforts to advance the outcome of our meetings and also provide hope and relief to millions of suffering women of Africa.
On this note, may I now invite you my dear colleagues, Your Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, to rise and join me in toasting to the success of the African First Ladies Peace Mission, as it promotes sustainable development in Africa through peace.
(Guests rise, and clink glasses as the First Lady says; "TO THE AFRICAN FIRST LADIES PEACE MISSION AND TO PEACE IN AFRICA")
Thank you very much for your kind attention.
Please enjoy your meal.