Vanguard (Lagos)

16 April 2013

Africa: 21st Century Belongs to African Women - Cherie Blair

Abuja — The wife of former British Prime Minister Mrs. Cherie Blair has hailed the crucial role of African women in developing the continent, saying that the 21st Century belongs to them.

Cherie, who is in Abuja to attend a seminar on Equity and Venture capital told the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, who hosted her to a lunch at the State House that Nigeria has continued to make progress since her first visit to the country.

According to her, "I have noticed since 2003 during my first visit to Nigeria that Nigerian women were a force to reckon with. The more I meet with Nigerian and African women, the more I become absolutely confident that the 21st century belongs to the African woman".

She commended the progress made by Nigerian women, saying they have been fully accommodated in the political arena of the continent which would enable them change the world.

Mrs. Blair commended the First Lady for her work in empowering Nigerian women, saying "We share common interest in the issues of women, coming from backgrounds that did not believe that women could make any difference".

In her response, the First Lady commended the wife of former British Prime Minister for her kind words, noting that Nigeria and Britain have had a very fruitful relationship which she says would continue to blossom.

She urged the visiting Mrs. Blair to enjoy Nigeria and always work in the interest of Nigerian women.

"I believe and appreciate you and the Cherie Blair Foundation which you have used to encourage women. I also wish to acknowledge your works in Africa which is duly recognised", Mrs Jonathan said.

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