By: Nyima Sillah
The Gambia has launched the 33rd African Women Leaders Network (AWLN) chapter, to accomplish women leaders and professionals from different backgrounds and generations.
The launch was held under the theme – Supporting Women’s economic empowerment and financial inclusion for enhanced leadership.
AWLN launch is meant to bring to light concrete strategies and measures to increase women’s participation and inclusion in Gambia’s economy, financial and political system. It also seeks to enhance cohesion between senior women leaders, rural women, and young women to drive change through Africa’s Agenda 2063, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Addressing the gathering, on Tuesday, 16th May 2023, at Coco Ocean Resort, Ms. Muna Jallow, National Coordinator and co-Chair of AWLN Gambia National Chapter said the launch of the Gambia chapter marks a significant milestone as it represents the collective efforts of all Gambian women who have worked tirelessly to make sure women are heard and recognized.
“The concept of the AWLN is to tackle the critical issues affecting African women such as governance, peace and security, and a sustainable development framework for addressing these issues. They wish to strengthen empowerment of rural women, female political participation, young women leadership, financial inclusion, and social mobilization.”
Ms. Jallow noted that the objectives of the network include the creation of opportunities to bring together women of all backgrounds to train, support and build the capacity of young women leaders and also to create a safe space for sharing and learning best practices and networking with partners and institution especially the Ministry of Gender and Children, and social protection.
She pointed out that it is important to realize the challenges women face that hinder their full participation thus they will stand firm to bridge those gaps.
Hon Dr. Mamadou Tangara, Minister of Foreign Affairs, highlighted that the AWLN is a hall map of an integrated continental project to put women at the forefront of cooperation and public governance.
“It is crucial, therefore, that the anonymous potentials offered by this critical consideration as viewed within the context of this ability to examine different capabilities and innovative thinking of women to be systemically included in our development architecture,” he stated.
Dr. Tangara also reiterated the importance of the AWLN project and says he is optimistic that this will effectively shape the success of the Gambian young girls and hope they see this as an opportunity.
On her part, Dr. Isatou Touray, Former Vice President, also added that the AWLN Gambian chapter is following the framework of AWLN as a pan-African body, adding AWLN is not an NGO, AWLN is a pan-African body within the continent of Africa with friends in diaspora and partners supporting to galvanize women to move forward. “Work with our government to show them they can do it, and when women lead the world is a different place.”
Hon Fatou Kinteh, Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Welfare also outlined the significance of AWLN Gambia Chapter, and her Ministry is committed to supporting women of the Gambia, noting that her Ministry will pave the way for AWLN to flourish.