Addis Ababa, 17th January 2013: On the margin of the 20th AU Summit, which will be held under the overall theme “Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance”, the Seventh African Union Pre-summit on Gender opened today Thursday 17th January 2013, at the AU New conference Center, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with its own theme of “Women and Youth in Pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance”.
Organized by the AUC Women, Gender, and Development Directorate (WGDD) in collaboration with the Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology (HRST), the two-day meeting is held with special focus on the 10th theme of the African Women’s Decade of Mentoring Youth (Women and Men) to be champions of Gender Equality. It aims at explore the implication of gender within the discourse of the African Renaissance and to make recommendation on how women can make meaningful contribution to creating an African Renaissance.
Officially opening the meeting, H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, AUC Chairperson said “it is our priority to strengthen our organization to response better to the needs of our Member States and our population”. She emphasized that whatever framework we come up with is not only for the AUC, but a framework for the African continent".
Dr. Zuma stressed on the urgency to look forward, for better future plans for Africa. She said " We have to concentrate on education, skill development, science and technology and innovation among others, and the youth need to be the innovator and hopefully the youth will change the image of Africa when they become active members in the society.
The AUC Chairperson mentioned peace and security issues as a priority for Africa, which will disappear in the future. She said Africa needs to pay attention to development, and balance peace and security with development on the continent.
The AU Pre-Summit on Gender examined the important role that women and youth currently play and the potential role they could play for more effective integration of gender into Pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance across Africa. It also explores possible mechanisms for promoting women and youth as legitimate partners in Pan Africanism and African Renaissance.
The meeting was attended by representatives of WGDD, representatives of civil society organizations (CSOs), representatives of youth, Regional Economic Communities, researchers, Academics, and development partners.
The meeting will end on Friday 18th Jan 2013, and is a preparatory activity of the 20th African Union Summit which starts on Monday 21st of Jan.