Dakar, Senegal, December 15 (IDEP) - The African Institute for Economic Development and Planning recently organized a course for senior and mid-level African policymakers to equip them with relevant tools and knowledge on how to mainstream gender into socio-economic policies and national budgets.
The course, titled Gender-Responsive Economic Policy Management, saw government officials from planning and sectoral ministries from 21 Francophone and Anglophone African countries from the five sub-regions of
the continent attending to horn their skills in how to formulate gender-responsive policies.
The course ran from 14 to 25 November, 2016.
IDEP Director, Ms. Karima Bounemra Ben Soltane, addressed participants at the end of the training, stressing the importance for African countries to mainstream gender in all sectoral policies. This, she said, would help them achieve their national development objectives.
She said many African countries were failing to translate strong economic performances into social dividends, adding some have also been struggling to strengthen national capacities to evaluate policies and take adequate corrective measures.
Ms. Soltane said the course is important as it helped improve the capacity of African policymakers in the art of mainstreaming gender into socio-economic policies and national budgets.
“We need more experts in the area of gender-responsive economic policy management in our governments across the continent because we know the benefits of doing so are immense,” she said.
Representing Ms. Mariama Sarr, Senegal’s Minister of Women’s Affairs, Family and Childhood, Mr. Omar Samb, the Director of Projects Evaluation in the ministry, said African countries, Senegal included, had committed themselves to empowering women and protecting women rights over the years through various regional and international protocols and conventions.
He said gender equality was high on the international development agenda with several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) promoting gender equality, including equal access of men and women to social services, economic opportunities and labour markets.
Mr. Samb said Senegal is implementing its National Strategy for Gender Equality and Equity which aims to consolidate all actions designed to promote gender equality in the country for the period 2015-2025.
A representative of the participants expressed the trainees’ gratitude to IDEP for organizing what they said was an important course that will help them in formulating and implementing economic policies designed to support the structural transformation process in the 21 participating countries.
The course, he said, enabled participants to share experiences and deepen their knowledge of gender issues, adding it had successfully equipped them with the tools to mainstream gender in policies and budgets in their respective countries.
Members of the Diplomatic corps commended IDEP for organizing what they described as ‘a relevant and much-needed’ course for the benefit of the continent’s decision-makers. Participants were awarded certificates of achievement at the end of the training.