“Women hold up more than half the sky in Africa” , State Minister Mohamed Sesay tells the UN

Sierra Leone’s Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation , Dr Mohamed Gibril Sesay,  on Tuesday addressed  the United Nations High Level Event on Strengthening Partnerships for Peace, Security and Stability in Africa.

In his statement, Dr. Sesay advocated strongly for women and youths in Africa . READ :



Tuesday, 11th October, 2016

Mr. Chairman,

Let me express profound gratitude to the organizers of this event and to also convey thanks to the moderators. Sierra Leone joins other delegations in proposing the following for strengthening partnerships for peace, security and stability in Africa

We must build on Partnerships for promoting religious tolerance and co-existence. We have all seen that conflicts now appropriate the substance and symbolisms of religion. WE must engage religious leaders and adherents, we must build on resources for tolerance and peace that exist within religious traditions to promote stability, peace and security in Africa. Sierra Leone stands ready to contribute its insights and other other resources as one of the most religiously tolerant nations towards this partnership.

We must strengthen Partnerships for recognizing and promoting the contribution of women to peace, stability and growth. Africa is a continent where for too long women’s contribution to peace, democracy and development have been under emphasized in our discussions. This must change. We must acknowledge that women hold up more than half the sky in Africa. We believe this acknowledgement will build better partnerships to support women hold the skies with less fatigue and less pain, and with greater smiles and skills. If we do this, the skies of Africa will be brighter for all of us – women, men and children

We must also act to foster Partnerships for Private Sector involvement in promoting peace, growth, employment and stability. Governments cannot do all, the private sector -formal and informal – must be engaged as partners for peace and stability

We must also support regional diplomacy for peace and stability in Africa. In the last few months ECOWAS has been building sub-regional and national partnerships for peace and stability in Guinea Bissau. We are also seeing these efforts in other African regions. These partnerships must be supported.

We must also promote Partnerships for transitioning from a paradigm that sees youths as threats to one that acknowledges and promotes youths as dignified, humane and productive forces for Africa’s current and future development. Africa has more youths as a percentage of its population than any other continent. Acknowledging and promoting youths as Africa’s best chance for overcoming our stability, peace and development challenges must be integral to our efforts.

WE must also acknowledge the threat of diseases and environmental degradation to peace and stability. Sierra Leone and its neighbors teetered on the brink when Ebola struck; we defeated Ebola and we are now implementing a Post Ebola Recovery Programme. Success with this programme is as important as the peacekeeping that sustained our peace after civil war in the 1990s. Africa must forge partnerships for resilient health systems to ensure stability, peace and security.

Sierra Leone’s transition from civil war in the 1990s to peace, and democracy in the 2000s owes a lot to peacekeeping. And we are ready to give back, contributing peacekeepers to Sudan and Somalia and other lands. WE desire to continue along this path of giving back.

I thank you for your attention

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