Rwanda is preparing to welcome women from all over the world for the first Global Gender Summit to be held in Africa.
At a press conference on 18 October in the capital Kigali, the organizers laid out plans for the event.
"We believe that GGS 2019 will be an opportunity to share best practices from all participants so that we accelerate progress on gender equality and women's empowerment in Africa and around the world," said Rwanda's Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Soline Nyirahabimana.
The Global Gender Summit is a biennial event organized by the multilateral development banks (MDBs), bringing together leaders from government, development institutions, private sector, civil society and academia.
"We are excited to be bringing the world to Africa on the issue of gender equality. We have chosen Rwanda because the country is an example when it comes to empowering its women, well beyond Africa's borders," said Vanessa Moungar, the African Development Bank's Director of Gender, Women and Civil Society.
She said that Rwanda had been selected as the host country for this event based on their commitment to improving the livelihoods of women, citing the 2013 implementation of gender-sensitive laws, which helped to dramatically increase women's access to finance in Rwanda from 36 percent to 63 percent by 2016.
The 2019 theme is "Unpacking constraints to gender equality," and will focus on three key dimensions to achieve gender equality and women's empowerment: scaling up innovative financing; fostering an enabling environment, and ensuring women's participation.
"We will be launching a number of initiatives to dramatically transform the landscape of access to finance in Africa and to unlock the $42 billion financing gap women are facing here," added the Bank's gender, women and civil society director.
The conference takes place from 25 to 27 November in Kigali.
This is the first Global Gender Summit that will be held on a large scale. The last summit was hosted by the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington DC and attracted around 200 delegates.
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