African First Ladies discuss 5-year strategic plan

First Lady, Mrs. Akufo-Addo (4th from right) in a group photo with her counterparts

Ghana’s First Lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo has met counterparts from across Africa to further discussions on their contribution to the health and well-being of children, the youth and women on the continent.

The meeting which happened on the fringes of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) currently underway at the UN Headquarters in New York, also discussed the 2019 to 2023 strategic plan for the Organisation of African First Ladies against AIDS.

Members deliberated on key issues including HIV, cancer, child marriage. They also discussed the adoption of a strategic plan with seven broad areas which the first ladies could work towards.

The focus areas in the document included HIV&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 and Institutional Capacity Strengthening.

The First Ladies collectively agreed that, for easy evaluation of each member’s contributions, the areas captured in the document should be narrowed to four.

According to Madam Sika Bella Kabore, First Lady of Burkina Faso, and Acting President of OAFLA, the discussion would enable the organization to adopt a workable document which all the first ladies could work with.

“With a vision for a developed Africa with healthy and empowered children, youth and women, the document has the goal of making a significant contribution to the health and well-being of children, youth and women in Africa.” She said.

In attendance were Ghana’s First Lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, Mrs. Kabore of Burkina Faso, First ladies from Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Lesotho, Uganda, Madagascar, Congo, Burundi and Ethiopia.

The Organization of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS seeks to contribute to the national effort in preventing, managing and eliminating HIV and AIDS.

In line with the work of the Rebecca Foundation, it also contributes to the national effort towards reducing maternal and infant mortality.