Casablanca — HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa chaired, on Thursday in Casablanca, the opening ceremony of the 5th International Congress of African Women, held under the patronage of HM King Mohammed VI on "Innovation, Sustainable Development and South-South Cooperation."
Speaking at the opening ceremony, chair of the Africa femme performantes des Etats-Unis, Patricia Sécké, underlined that today's women tend to take the initiative and need to unite in an efficient manner in order to take good advantage of their assets and skills, and contribute to the progress of society, adding that this congress is a challenge to create a hub of feminine excellence that will develop the business partnerships and cultural cooperation with both the US and Africa.
Minister of Solidarity, women, family and social development, Bassima Hakkaoui said Morocco has subscribed to all the initiatives, programmes and international meetings related to gender equality, and is working to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, especially the third goal.
She said Morocco is working on implementing the Beijing Recommendations, especially article 35 which provides for women's access to economic sources, and activated the 20-20 initiative which earmarks 20 pc of public spending and 20 pc of international assistance to funding social services.
Speaking in the name of Africa, Chad Minister for human rights, Amina Kodjiyana said Africa femmes performantes is working in several African countries to develop women's skills, adding that women are more than eve determined to succeed their political and socio-economic empowerment.
Speaking on behalf of the American continent, vice president of Africa femmes performantes, Parker Mabry underlined the importance of cooperation, communication and dialogue for better achievements in favour of women.
For his part, Mohamed Tahiri, chair of the Moroccan association for economy of the environment stressed the importance of education, human rights, investments, training and income-generating activities for women. He pleaded for a larger representation of Africa femme performantes in the black continent.
Journalist Fawzia Talout Meknassi, chair of Presma, a PR partner of Africa femmes performantes called on African women to examine the free-trade agreement between Morocco and the US, as it offers "incredible" opportunities for African women to develop their companies, and reinforce sustainable development capacities.
Afterwards, Ms. Secké presented HRH Princess lalla Salma Hasna with the "Palm of excellence." Her Royal Highness then visited an art exhibition of handicraft items organised by the network of Moroccan craftswomen "Refam Dar Maalma".
At her arrival, HRH Princess Lalla Hasna had reviewed a detachment of the Auxiliary Forces, before being greeted by Bassima Hakkaoui, Minister of Solidarity, women, family and social development, Nimaga Ismaila, Ambassador of the Central African Republic, Idrissa Traoré, Cote d'Ivoire ambassador, as well as several Moroccan and foreign personalities.