Sierra Leone’s deputy Ambassador to The Gambia, Haja Saidata Sesay this week joined some of Africa’s first ladies in observing this year’s 3rd WOMEN ADVANCEMENT FORUM 2014 (WAF) in The Gambia. (Photo: Deputy Ambassador Saidata Sesay seated with her counterparts)
This annual event was attended by first ladies of the Republic of Senegal, Burundi, Comoros and Nigeria’s state Governors first ladies of River, Ogun and Bauchi States, hosted by Mrs. Zineb Yayah Jammeh under the Theme – Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the MDGS.
The Forum was facilitated by the former Gambian Speaker of the National Assembly Hon. Fatoumatta Jahumpa Ceesay and attended by among other VIP’s the Vice President and Minister of Women’s Affairs H.E Aja Dr. Isatou Njie Saidy, UN Representative to The Gambia, cabinet Ministers, Heads of government Institutions, Diplomatic Corps, Women’s Organizations and a cross section of citizens and non citizens.
WAF is one of the most attended global gender conferences and a platform that push for Women Advancement and Empowerment and positive ways in realizing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS). The International forum has in all its meetings strived for the formulation of strategic and realistic approach for women’s socio- economic and political advancement and emancipation.
Declaring the forum open, Her Excellency Zineb Yayah Jammeh commended President Yayah Jammeh for supporting to host the forum in The Gambia, adding that her husband is a strong believer in the potential of women to help transform the socio – economic development of the African continent. She described the 2014 forum as an eye opener to Gambian women and the Girl child.
She called on all present at the forum to make this 2014 meeting an achievement in the implementation of the MDGS for the women and the girl child.
According to the first lady, current assessment revealed that MDG targets including maternal health, hunger and access to basic amenities such as safe drinking water are all likely to be met by 2015. She also noted that The Gambia is on track towards achieving MDG 3, which advocates for the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women. The fact of this she based on the progress the nation is making towards the attainment of MGD goals, taking into consideration that the Gambian government has accorded women their share of positions in the decision making process in which the girl child education is given top priority.
The current Chairperson of WAF, First Lady of Ogun State of Nigeria, H.E .Funso Amosun commended the Gambian government for hosting the forum. “WAF should be seen to deliberate, review and strategize the successes registered in the implementation of MDGs and as to how to come up with a strategy to maximize the attainment of the next step — Sustainable Development Goal” She said.
Awards of honor for their contributions in promoting women’s affairs were given to the First Lady of The Gambia Zineb Yayah Jammeh, first lady of Senegal- Faye Sall, first lady of Burundi and that of the first lady of Comoros and the wives of the Governors of Bauchi, Ogun and River States and the Vice President of The Gambia.
Traditional dancing from both Gambia and Nigeria climaxed the occasion.