As part of efforts to mobilise resources for its new strategic plan for 2019 to 2023, first ladies from across Africa have met with some strategic investors in New York to promote their initiatives and projects in their various countries.
Organised by the Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD) on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) which was held in New York, the first ladies interacted with potential investors in various areas of their work.
The meeting was organised by the Business Council for International Understanding (BCUI) and sponsored by Chevron Corporation, an American multinational energy corporation, RENWOMAN, a gender equality initiative and Uber Technologies Incorporated, an American multinational transportation network.
The meeting was hosted by Goals House, an initiative which works towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The investors were drawn from the private sector who work in the fields of HIV and AIDS; non-communicable diseases (NCDs); reproductive, maternal, new-born and child health (RMNCH); gender equality, women and youth empowerment; universal health coverage (UHC); social security and protection, including persons with disabilities and institutional capacity strengthening.
OAFLAD new vision
The OAFLAD in January 2019 launched a new strategic plan with a vision to develop Africa with healthy and empowered children, youth and women.
Hitherto, OAFLAD, which was known as the Organisation of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) and founded in 2002 by 37 African first ladies was only advocating for increased awareness and resource mobilisation to curb HIV and AIDS on the African continent.
However, with its broadened vision, the mission of the organisation is now to contribute to the health and well-being of children, youth and women through advocacy, resource mobilisation and strategic partnerships.
The President of OAFLAD, Mrs Antoinette Saasou N’Guesso, in addressing her fellow first ladies and the potential investors, said the new vision of the organisation had made it imperative for new investors to get on board.
According to her, it was the vision of OAFLAD to see an Africa free of diseases, hunger and poverty, especially among its vulnerable groups, most of whom were women, children and the disabled.
She said resource mobilisation was essential to the success of the organisation’s vision and commended the private sector for supporting the resource initiative of OAFLAD.
The Senior Vice President, BCUI, Ms Meghan Hagberg, in welcoming the first ladies and private investors said the meeting would help in discussing issues of mutual concern to both the first ladies and the investors.
She commended the first ladies for their roles in ensuring that lives of the most marginalised in societies were improved.
The Managing Director of Chevron Corporation, Mr Derek Magnes, said the first ladies were the most dedicated partners who could be considered as dependable allies in achieving their aims.
According to him, Chevron aimed at improving health care to the most marginalised in societies in Africa and would, therefore, be ready to work with the first ladies to help improve the lives of, especially children in the areas of HIV and sickle cell disease.
“A thriving community creates more opportunities for everyone. At Chevron, we partner with people and local organisations where we operate to help support and strengthen communities. We all want to keep our community moving forward,” he said.
The First Lady of Ghana, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, interacted with some officials from RENDEAVOUR, developers of the Appolonia City near Oyibi in Accra and Shea Yeleen, producers of refined shea butter products among others.