The First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has urged African first ladies to ensure they mainstreamed the needs of persons with disability into the strategic focus of the Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD).
She was speaking during an OAFLAD meeting held on the side-lines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, to discuss the strategic focus of the organisation for the next two years.
Mrs Akufo-Addo called for greater efficiency and commitment in OAFLAD’s fund raising efforts.
She charged her counterparts to consider using advocacy as a fund-raising mechanism to support causes that challenged existing problems and drew attention of strategic partners and funders for support.
She commended the OAFLAD President, Mrs Monica Geingos, First Lady of Namibia, for leading the organisation with renewed energy, building on the foundation laid by her predecessors.
Mrs Geingos, on her part, tasked first ladies to use their offices in strategic ways that empowered women and engendered development in Africa.
Meanwhile, all the first ladies pledged to continue the advocacy on issues of concern to African women.
They agreed to prioritise and streamline the strategic focus of the organisation to make them more impactful and measurable.
They also agreed on the need to increase visibility of the organisation by deploying both traditional and social media in a more purposeful manner.
The first ladies discussed how to attract strategic partnerships and build relationships to facilitate access to technical support and critical assistance for their work.
As part of the 20th anniversary celebrations of OAFLAD, a fundraising event would be held in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
OAFLAD has been working over the years to support efforts at eliminating HIV/AIDS in Africa.
In the last four years it had broadened its ambit to include other developmental issues that focused on the wellbeing of women and the vulnerable populations in Africa.
In attendance were the first ladies from Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Also present were partners from the Buffet Foundation, the Ford Foundation and other international Non-Governmental Organisations.