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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

NEPAD, Spain set up fund for African women

Remmy Nweke

In order to accelerate the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), especially the number three goal, the NEPAD Agency and Spanish government have set up fund for the empowerment of African women for the second time.

The fund, estimated at take a queue from the first phase of 6.285 million Euros, about N1,394,331,164.08 billion, would be the second call to be deployed in building the capacity of African women thereby encouraging them to be economically self reliance.

ITRealms Online recalls that in 2008, NEPAD had launched the first call for proposals, during which the NSF Steering Committee approved 46 projects from 23 African countries with funding to the tune of 6.285 million Euros.

Communications Assistant at NEPAD Agency, Millicent Seganoe disclosed that at the just concluded 6th meeting of “African and Spanish Women Network for a Better World” held in Windhoek, Namibia, the NEPAD Agency and the Government of the Kingdom of Spain launched the second call of proposals for the NEPAD/Spanish Fund for the Empowerment of Women.

Seganoe explained that the NEPAD-Spanish Fund for the empowerment of women is aimed at providing financial support to projects carried out by women in Sub-Saharan Africa and concretely promoting gender equity and the autonomy of women, while increasing women ability to contribute in speed up the process to reach the Millennium Development Goal (MDG), especially goal number three.

The NEPAD Communications Assistant said that the grants would be awarded, ranging from 50,000 Euros to 500,000 Euros over a period of one year to two years or less.

Speaking at the launch on behalf of the Government of the Kingdom of Spain, Honorable Ms Soraya Rodriguez, Vice Minister in-charge of International Cooperation, welcomed the spirit of partnership that exists between her Government and NEPAD.

She also said that the Spanish Government has learnt a lot in working with the NEPAD Agency and that the renewal of the Spanish Fund “is a solution to the basic needs of the African women.”

The Chief Executive Officer, NEPAD Agency, Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, reiterated the significance of the gender dimension in the development strategy of the continent.

Welcoming the presence of Honourable Soraya Rodriguez, Mayaki said it shows a step forward in NEPAD interaction with the Kingdom of Span for strengthening of conditions for a dynamic partnership.

“It is in this regard that the lessons learnt during the previous phase would enable the Agency to conceive a result oriented management approach that will call for the definition of rigorous and pertinent criteria for the selection, the follow-up and the assessment of projects” he said.

Mayaki also recognised the strong support of the Spanish Cooperation to NEPAD, while promising that NEPAD Agency under his leadership would do its best to be as more efficient as possible in the implementation of the NEPAD/Spanish Fund for the empowerment of African Women.

“I would like to recall, aims at promoting the economic autonomy and the institutional capacity building of African Women” he declared.

Noteworthy is that out of the 46 projects in the first phase, 25 have been concluded and the remaining projects are on-going.

NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD Agency) is the technical body of the African Union, working closely with the African Union Commission (AUC), regional economic communities, national governments, civil society and the private sector to push for programmes and projects that focus on improving the lives of the African people.

The NEPAD Agency is the leading African development expert, able to mobilise the private sector, heads of state and African people as a force for positive change, building continental prosperity and regional integration.

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