An African Union Gender and Development Initiative for Africa (GADIA), under the auspices of Ghana's President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has been launched in Accra.
The Flagship program, which is structured around two Pillars "Developing Women's Economic Empowerment through the Private sector and Increasing Women's Political Participation is an agenda of the Government of Ghana in partnership with the AU and other key stakeholders in the implementation of substantive activities that will promote Gender Equality in Africa.
Delivering his key note address on the theme "African Women as Leaders in Business and Politics", President Akufo-Addo indicated that he intends to focus on how to bring women into the decision making process with specific interest of encouraging Women participation in both politics and economic process on the continent.
According to the President, several studies across the world indicates that investing in women is arguably, the most effective way any developing nation could adopt to improve its standard of living.
Investing in the girl child, President Akufo-Adoo continued, is widely acknowledged that it could engender considerably social and welfare benefits- low infant mortality and fertility rate.
President Akufo-Addo said it was imperative that African leaders deplored their resources and strategies to develop appropriate gender related policies that would create a leveling playing field for the participation of women in Business and Politics, adding, "it is a must if nations of Africa are to deal with wide spread poverty, ignorance and disease and to put the continent on the path of sustainable progress and prosperity."
President of Liberia
The outgoing President of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was the special guest of honour, commended President Akufo-Addo for the bold step taken to advance the course of Women in Politics and business.
As the first and only female President on the African continent, President Sirleaf said she was concerned about the gap it would create when she constitutional step down as President of Liberia this year when her country elects a new President.
Though she commended President Akufo-Addo for the bold decision taken to advance the course of women, she urged the President to fast truck the process by identify the many women who were at the edge of venture into politics, which invariably, could position Africa to having many women President's in the near future.
The Liberia President implored President Akufo Addo to do everything possible to promote the interest of and identify the many women who need just a little push to be able to fulfill their ambitions in business and politics, adding though the Africa continent have witness great and influential women, there levels were unaccepted.
Ghana's Minister of Business Development, Mr Awal Mohammed Ibrahim, said Ghana was one of three African Countries that could boost of the most women entrepreneurs.
The Business Development Minister commended President Akufo-Addo for the initiate as he noted that Africa loses 6% of its GDP annually as a result of not fully engaging its women in decision making process and participation in the productive sectors of the economy.
He said it was the vision of government to institute deliberate policy interventions that would have women Chief Executive Officers (CEO) heading at least 50% of the best 100 companies in Ghana.
Ghana's Minister of Gender, Child and Social Protection, Madam Otiko Gyaba, commended President Akufo-Addo for championing the course of Ghanaian women and the continent at large. She said the introduction of the Free SHS policy was certainly a "ladder towards the educational carrier for women.
The Gender, Child and Social Protection Minister urged Women to take advantage of the President initiative.
GADIA programme of Activities will strive to deliver a positive socia-economic impact on the lives and livelihood of African women. Key amongst these activities are the African Women's Business Summit (AWBS), the Women in Political Service Initiative (WIPSI), African Business Women's Index (ABWI) and the African Women's Centre for Business Excellence.
In July 2017, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, was appointed the African Union Leader for Gender and Development by the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) with His Excellency Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinea.
President Akufo Addo was also named the Gender and Development Champion for his work in promoting gender parity and socioeconomic empowerment of women and girls in Africa. This appointment and recognition has necessitated the creation of the GADIA to help execute all gender related matters in the AU Agenda 2063.
The President was also named the Africa Union's Gender and Development Champion for his work in promoting gender parity and the socio- economic development of Women and girls in Africa.
Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)