Namibian 1st Lady Monica Geingos Elected As OAFLAD New President

Mrs Monica Geingos
Mrs Monica Geingos

The Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD), has elected Mrs Monica Geingos, first lady of Namibia, as its new President.

She took over from Mrs Antoinette Sassou N’Guesso, first lady of Congo, who is also a founding member of the organisation that was founded some 20 years ago.

The election took place at the 26th Extraordinary General Assembly held in Brazzaville, Congo, from June 9 to 10.

The meeting, attended by first ladies from Ghana, Malawi, Niger, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Burundi, the Gambia and Central African Republic (CAR), among others, who joined virtually, Madam Brigitte Touadera, first Lady of CAR, was also elected as the Vice-president of OAFLAD.

Members of the Steering Committee who would steer the affairs of the organisation for the next two years were also elected.

It was held on the theme: “Twenty years in the service of the most vulnerable of Africa.”

The Assembly was graced by other guests and dignitaries including Mr Joseph Kwaku Antwi, Ghana’s Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Mr Inusah M. Fuseini, Ghana’s Consulate-General to the Republic of Congo, as well as representatives of development partners, like the World Health Organisation, UNAIDs, UNFPA, the African Union Commission, and the Global Fund and others.

First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, in an address congratulated the incoming President of OAFLAD, Mrs Geingos, and wished her a successful tenure of office.

She also thanked the outgoing OAFLAD President, for a job well done, particularly, for steering the affairs of the organization “during these unusual times.”

“As we celebrate 20 years of OAFLA now OAFLAD, I acknowledge past and present African First Ladies, for their immense contribution in support of the vulnerable on our continent.

“I acknowledge the contributions of previous Ghanaian First Ladies who set the pace for me,” Mrs Akufo-Addo said.
She stated that the two decades of working for the vulnerable had been quite insightful, in the midst of the challenges and setbacks, “but we’ve made significant progress.”

Mrs Sassou N’Guesso, in a message, also commended all the first ladies for their support as well as partner countries like China and South Korea and the many development partners who have been supporting OAFLAD to carry out their programmes in the countries.

Mrs Geingos, on her part, said members of OAFLAD would continue to amplify their voices on issues that affect its people, especially, women and children, and also called for more commitment from her counterparts so they could successfully carry out their mandate.

Representatives of the WHO, UNAIDs, UNFPA, and the Global Fund, among others, all acknowledged the impact made by the first Ladies through OAFLAD on the lives of the vulnerable in Africa and in the areas of health, education, reproductive and maternal health, gender based violence.

They also pledged their commitment in supporting the agenda of OAFLAD members but emphasized the need to mobilise both local and international resources to cater for the needs of the vulnerable populations.

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