Africa’s women must “grow beyond the micro”

Addis Ababa, 28 March 2015 (AUC-ECA) – Women are tired of being put in the context of ‘micro this’ and ‘micro that. This stark reminder of the resolve of delegates at the recently held Women in Parliaments Global Forum (WIP) summit, was made today in Addis Ababa, at a high level discussion on the place of women in Agenda 2063, by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

With those words, the bearer of Dr Zuma’s message, Ambassador Lazarous Kapambwe, who acts as her Special Advisor, fired up an engaging discussion in which attendees agreed that women’s financial inclusion in development processes would be a key factor to make the African Union’s Agenda 2063 work for them.

“We want to take the campaign for [women’s] financial inclusion further, focusing on gender budgeting in governments, access to procurement opportunities by women and youth, the creation of an African women’s financial instrument and by engaging the financial institutions – the banks, private equity funds, development finance institutions and insurance companies on women’s access to finance,” said the AU Chairperson.

And the campaigners for inclusion in the room could not agree more. They sated that, in concrete terms, Agenda 2063 should involve targets for women’s inclusion in financial product development through leasing financing and franchise financing, and the strategic placement of women along value addition chains. The Agenda, they noted, must put premium on financial products and institutions that help, especially, rural women to improve agricultural productivity and set up agribusinesses.

The participants hailed the leading role of women in informal sector of the economy and said governments need to make careful considerations before quickly applying tax conditions to the sector, which is the mainstay of already disadvantaged groups doing a fantastic job in holding society together.

Inclusive laws, especially those pertaining to ownership of property and inheritance, women’s rights to sexual reproductive and general healthcare, the funding of research on development issues pertaining to women, a revolution in women’s and men’s education especially in science and technology, the promotion of women in leadership, and better coordination among the campaigners of women’s development, were listed as other priorities for Agenda 2063.


Jointly issued by the ECA and the AUC