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PHOTOS: Aisha Buhari, Liberia Vice President, Others At The African Women Summit For Development In Abuja

Delegates from more than twenty three (23) African countries numbering approximately one-thousand six hundred and seventy (1670) attended the maiden edition of the African Women Summit for Development, which was held at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria from 21st to 22nd April, 2018. The summit was hosted by Coalition of Wives of Presidents and Vice Presidents in Africa for Peace (COWAP) a project of Engage Educate Empower Initiative, A Nigerian Based Non Governmental Organization. Among the participants were Her Excellency, The First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria represented by Mrs Gimba Dogara Wife of the Speaker of The House of Representatives, The Vice President of Liberia, Her Excellency Chief Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor, Her Excellency, Former President of Malawi, Joyce Banda and Chairperson of the Coalition and Advisory Board, Her Excellency, Wife of Executive Governor of Bauchi State, Barr. Aisha M. A. Abubakar, Prof. PLO Lumumba (COWAP Global Ambassador) from Kenya, Immediate Past President of the Kenya Law School and COWAP Global Ambassador, Her Excellency. Ambassador Dr. Aisha Abubakar Audu, Deputy Head of Mission to UN, World United Commission, Former First Lady Kogi State, Dr Oluwatosin Dokpesi, Managing Director, African Independent Television, Diplomats and Members of International Community.

The countries represented at the Summit included Botswana, Burundi, Ghana, The Gambia, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Mozambique, Malawi, Mauritius, South Africa, South Sudan, The Kingdom of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Liberia, Ethiopia, Cote'dívoire , Egypt, France, United Kingdom, United State .
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The theme of the Summit was "Using Innovative Technology To Solve Africa's Development Challenges" and the panel sub-themes were:
 Justice and Peace
The impact of new technology on peace and justice for development
The role of women in peace building and conflict resolution

The role of the media in sustaining peace and development in Africa's Girl Child Education
How to use innovative technology to enhance the Girl child Education
Aim: Seeks to reintegrate the impact of technology on fostering peace keeping to avoid armed conflict and also emphasise on the importance, if, any on the use of technology to improve girl child education

End poverty and End Hunger
How can Innovative Technology solve extreme poverty and End Hunger in Africa?
Aim: To highlight ways in which technology can be used to combat poverty in all forms, eradicate hunger and the way forward for Africa

The overall objective of the summit was to
Engage African first ladies (past and present) with development actors and practitioners  in finding concrete solutions to key priority development problems in Africa through technology  
Map best practices and lessons learned in using innovative technologies to solve developmental problems in one of the four thematic areas listed above
Discuss what technology tools could be used to enhance SDGs and AU 2063 agenda 
Recognize the efforts of African innovators with creative ideas in solving development issues through technology 

Over the two-day period, the summit participants working in three plenary sessions and break-out sessions noted that

Technology is proven more effective in helping solve key development challenges in Africa. Across the continent, scientists, engineers, civil society, entrepreneurs and even governments are using the needs and priorities of their communities to innovate in order to solve problems and drive sustainable growth
Significant challenges remain, including access to training and funding, and responsive public policy and regulation. In most cases, lack of access to such information creates a barrier for women in utilizing available technological and financial resources in combating the enormous challenges encountered in realising the sustainable development goals.
Deleting political and ethical sensitivities to navigate – how much data transparency and protection is required, and how to make technology culturally appropriate to solve and tackle issues inhibiting against the smooth realization of the developmental goals
Technology is genuinely empowering by having a collaborative design process, that will factor in different localized challenges and proffering time-line solutions, recognising the contribution made by small-scale local activities, and has a particular emphasis on delivery of sustainable development at all scales
It was agreed that within Africa, there are countries making significant strides towards the achievement of a developmental state e.g. Rwanda, Botswana and Mauritius. Other African countries might wish to learn lessons of what and how those countries made the progress with special focus on the contribution made by women

Summary Of Action Points And Proposed Next Steps
The African Women Summit will be a bi-annual event with set of activities running concurrently across the continents within the next two years
Liberia to host the next African Women Summit 2020.
Innovative technology will be used to solve Africa's developmental challenges especially in the four thematic areas of girl child education, ending extreme poverty, ending extreme hunger and peace and justice in Africa.
Women Networks for shared impacts and collaborations will be established across the continents.
All Network emanating from the summit; be registered with COWAP for proper integration and communication to members across the continent. 
COWAP to establish innovative hub and mobile transport outfit for women across Africa.

In preparation for the upcoming elections in Nigeria, Engage Educate Empower Initiative will organise an event/ workshop in Nigeria with the theme 'How do women win elections In a Male Dominated Society', targeted at female aspirants and women support groups. 


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