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UNFPA Regional Director commends Ghana, and pledges support for the Gender and Development Initiative for Africa

28 November 2017
Prez. Nana Akuffo Addo and UNFPA Regional Director for WCA  Mr. Mabingue Ngom
Prez. Nana Akuffo Addo and UNFPA Regional Director for WCA Mr. Mabingue Ngom

The Regional Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for West and Central Africa has commended the President of Ghana for launching the Gender and Development Initiative for Africa (GADIA). The launch ceremony took place on 14 November 2017, at the Accra International Conference Center in Accra, Ghana.

Mr. Ngom said the vision articulated by President Nana Akufo-Addo's initiatives resonates strongly with that of UNFPA, given its work to ensure the holistic development and empowerment of women, adolescents and youth. “In this regard UNFPA stands ready to work with and support this noble initiative that will accelerate our progress towards realizing the Africa We Want as envisioned in the African Union's Agenda 2063,” Mabingue said pledging UNFPA's support.

The UNFPA Regional Director also remarked that when Africa succeeds in having a development strategy that is “women and girls centered”, it would have succeeded in creating an Africa that is equally responsive to the needs of all.

Ghana, like Africa, is said to be running with one leg tied behind; that the other leg should be untied so that Africa will rise and run like Usain Bolt. The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection quoted the Ghanaian Speaker of Parliament, in her address during the launch of the GADIA, by President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, during a well-attended ceremony that took place under the theme, “African Women as Leaders in Business and Politics.”

In his address to launch the initiative, President Akufo-Addos said, “Investing in women is arguably the most important investment any nation can do for itself, if we must put away the shackles of poverty, ignorance and disease and put the continent on the path of sustainable progress and prosperity. He stressed that a higher number of women in decision-making positions goes well for the African continent, to ensure that their rights become the bedrock of equality and social justice.

President Akufo-Addo was appointed in January 2017 by the President of Guinea, Prof. Alpha Condé and Chairperson of the African Union as the champion for gender and women's empowerment, following his work in promoting gender parity and the socio-economic development of women and girls in Africa.

Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, first female President in Liberia and Africa, and the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Thomas Kwesi Quartey, were amongst the dignitaries who attended the ceremony and delivered solidarity messages in support of President Akufo-Addo's Initiative.