African Young Women Beijing +25 Mobilization


25th November 2020


Thank you Mme Moderator for giving me the floor.

Your Excellency Mama Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior, Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan,

Your Excellency Mme Jeannette Kagame, First Lady of the Republic of Rwanda

Distinguished Guests. Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me start by thanking the Youth Envoy, my dearest Aya, for inviting me on the occasion of the presentation of the African Young Women Manifesto on Beijing+25, in the context of the Generation Equality drive. Congratulations on steering the consultations process that led to this manifesto.

I firmly believe that to achieve the Africa we want; we need to have many conversations that help us imagine and define a future we can be proud of as well as rich conversations situated in the right context and leading to action and impact. You will agree with me that the discussions we have had today has been very rich, very meaningful and will hopefully lead to a meaningful impact in the long term. 

For far too long, we have dreamed of a world where equality is not a myth but a reality. A reality where men and women have equal pay; equal responsibility for unpaid care, an end to sexual harassment and all forms of violence against women and girls. We have dreamed of reality where adequate healthcare services that respond to the needs of women and girls swiftly. A reality where equal participation of women in politics and leadership and decision-making processes is a given. It is important to always remind ourselves we are nowhere close to achieving this. So, we need to keep asking ourselves why that is so and what we can do to accelerate progress. With, this dialogue, I am glad that the Youth Envoy is leading both young women and men all over the continent to actualize the vision and dreams of the Beijing Declaration and subsequently making gender equality a reality in Africa.

I wish to convey my appreciation to Aya and her team for convening this intergenerational dialogue. Intergenerational Dialogues are spaces for us to have the necessary and sometimes uncomfortable conversations about the strengths and weaknesses of different generational cohorts and how to recognise and harness these differences for our transformation.   More importantly, I believe dialogues like this are an opportunity to pass the torch. As we know while the light produced will be constant, the idea of a torch when I was born – possibly operated by wood or kerosene – will be very different from the idea of an electric, energy-saving torch in a more recent generation. In the same way, while the vision may remain, my plea is that younger people find more efficient, energy-saving, scalable and effective ways to do way more than we ever did.

It is because I believe in the efficacy of these intergenerational dialogues that my office will continue to support and lead efforts targeted at this. We will be hosting the second  African Women Leaders Network (AWLN) intergenerational retreat on women leadership in December. The first one was held last year in Nairobi, Kenya, hosted by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta and HE Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President of Liberia and AWLN Patron. A key outcome of the retreat was the decision to establish a mentoring platform that will provide long-term spaces for intergenerational interactions and synergies to build an inclusive Africa.

In conclusion, I wish to reiterate my utmost support to Intergenerational dialogues and readiness to work for hands in hands for effective  and impactful advancement of the rights and spaces of women and girls in Africa.

I thank you for your kind attention.