This was disclosed at a high profile panel discussion on the launch of the African Women in Infrastructure (ANWIn) on Tuesday November 26,2019 at the PIDA Week.
The African Union Commission (AUC) officially launched ANWIn in Egypt Cairo, under the auspices of HE Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy of the AUC and HE Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki Chief Executive Officer of the African Union Development Agency, (AUDA-NEPAD).
In her key note address Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid stated that Africa is losing more than 100 billion dollars a year because of lack of equal access and opportunities in the labor market. She said that equal opportunities can improve peace and stability.
“Therefore it is our responsibility that we policy makers to ensure gender sensitive issues are effectively addressed in planning and implementation of infrastructure development projects,” she said.
The commissioner disclosed that while the world is thriving towards prosperity the poor population in Africa has increased from 278 million in 1990 to 416 million in recent years. Lack of equal opportunity in education, health and development is believed to be some of the contributing factors for the growing poor population.
Dr. Amani Bou-Zeid noted that transparency and equality reduce violence. The commissioner stressed the need for ensuring equal opportunity. “Offering equal opportunity is a guarantee not to be endangered,” she added.
The high level panel highlighted the need for sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa. The panelists affirmed that the participation of women in infrastructure development was imperative. “Women are not only users but they are part of those who design and implement infrastructure development projects,” the panelists said.
They highlighted the need to put women in key leadership position. “The participation of women is a crucial factor if we want to see the Africa want.”
According to the panelists excluding women from development is excluding half of the population from development.
Dr. Amani Bou-Zeid said that this year’s PIDA Week gave dueemphasis to the participation of the private sector adding that it was important to ensure how both the public and private sector should offer equal opportunities for women.
The commissioner affirmed that the gender issue was a priority for AUC . “This is just a start. We have a lot to do,” she added.
The lively panel discussion attracted the audience of prominent personalities and dignitaries including Dr. Eleham Ibrahim, former AUC Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy. Dr. Elham shared her wisdom with the audience on how best African can participate in developing the new Africa that everyone aspires to see.