Hello everyone! You’re warmly welcome to another #ETPTakes post – let’s get right into it! So what took me to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia? The 31st Gender Is My Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) Pre-Summit Consultative Meeting in Gender Mainstreaming in the African Union, which was held at the United Nations Economic Commissions Centre. So that was a mouthful, lol, let me break it down:
Before the Africa Union Summit that holds in January where African Heads of States all convene to make progress for the continent, several consultative meetings are held where the recommendations of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) are sought in respect to the theme being held, and these recommendations are forwarded to the Heads of States. This year’s GIMAC Theme was “Corruption and governance: Impact and way out for Women, Children and Youths”. So it’s like a way to ensure the opinions of the masses are being addressed at these high level meetings through the voices of the CSOs.
Still with me? Great! So where does little ETP fit into this grand scale of things? If you search Ipas on this blog you’ll see that I’ve worked with the Nigerian division in the past, but this time Ipas Nigeria nominated me to represent the NGO at the continental level, as a speaker for Ipas Africa Alliance. I was gobsmacked at the opportunity, so of course I grabbed it with both hands – especially as the meeting held on my birthday weekend!
Couple online meetings and late nights working on my presentation later, I was on my way to Ethiopia, all fully funded by Ipas Africa Alliance. I got put up in the luxurious Radisson Blu Hotel which was conveniently only a 5-minute walk from the conference centre.
Now I wasn’t going to only speak at the conference, I also doubled as the Ipas Africa Alliance Panel Session Moderator, so I was in control of the panel, which was bilingual by the way, but the translators in my ear made it a smooth process. I spoke about the restrictive laws in respect to abortion that has led to the women taking matters into their own hands and gave an anecdote from my experience as a medical student in the obstetric and gynaecology wards. The most important part of my speech however, was urging the African Union to strongly recommend the improvement of the 3.95% allocation of the 2018 National Budget for health, which is tiny in comparison to the 15% allocation that was agreed upon at the Abuja Declaration of 2001. I believe GIMAC will forward my recommendation and my hope is for the Nigerian government to take it on. I was also the youngest moderator at the conference and got commended by Dr Ajayi, the Executive Director of the African Leadership Forum and Host of the Meeting.
I snuck this photo whilst on stage haha!It was such an honor being on that stage.ETP Taking contributions from the audience.
Here are a couple more photos from the day:
Walking with the GIMAC Chairman, and the First Female Prime Minister of Ireland; guys forget my cool demeanor – I was screaming inside.Ipas Africa Alliance ladies! (L-R): Nafisatte (Benin), Richine (DRC), Nancy (Cameroon) and my humble self, ETP, representing Nigeria.
Vania, our beautiful Ipas Africa Alliance Coordinator The amiable Ambassador, Doctor Brookman, Ipas Africa Alliance Vice President and former Minister of Health, Ghana.
Honorable Minister of Gender, Democratic Republic of Congo.Dr Ajayi, Executive Director, Africa Leadership Forum.Ambassador Andreas Gaarder, Ambassador of Norway to the African UnionJane Davies, Global Partnerships for Education
Tadiwa from Zimbabwe shared her trying experience of stigma after returning to school after having a child as a teenager; Rozaria Trust later awarded her with a full scholarship to study in the United States; I cried real tears guys, it was a beautiful moment.
President Mary Robins, receiving her award from GIMAC.
Mr Ibrahim Ceesay, Executive DirectorAfrica Youth Initiative On Climate Change
Of course all work and no play is never my style – check out the next post – how I spent my birthday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia!