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African Women: Ministers hold gender conference

African Ministers of Women and Gender Affairs will on Thursday begin a week long conference in Addis Ababa, to adopt new strategies to enhance the economic capacity of women through gender budgeting.

The conference will attempt to develop new economic empowerment strategies as a way of curtailing the suffering experienced by some women during crises and conflicts on the African continent.

A statement by the Directorate of Information and Communication of the AU Commission on Monday said the conference would be attended by the Ministers of Gender and Women’s Affairs, their experts, and other invited participants from within and outside Africa.

“The meeting will be expected to adopt various reports, consider the outputs from committees and approve projects under the Theme; Agriculture and Food Security.”

The statement said the Women Affairs ministers would also resolve on new modules to incorporate a multi-dimensional gender mainstreaming approach on the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Rights of Women in Africa during the meeting.

It said further, that “the Ministers meeting will among other things consider and adopt the Report of the Meeting of Experts, which will focus on Agenda items.”

“They will reflect on Pan- Africanism and African Renaissance as the theme of the OAU/AU 50th Anniversary and contribute as well as influence and shape the vision of the AU-wide strategic plan and the Union’s 2013 development agenda.

“They will also discuss Commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, scheduled for July 11,” the statement added.

According to the statement, the ministers will equally consider the report of an Annual High Level Panel on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment to create space for women scholars, researches, academia, and gender experts to deliberate on emerging issues including activities of the High Level Panel on Peace and Security convened every October.

“The Women Affairs Ministers are also expected to approve projects for the African Women’s Decade (AWD) 2013theme, through a collaboration with the UN Women at country level in strengthening the AWD National Coordinating Committees,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the AU Commission has concluded arrangements to host the first All Africa Public Relations and Strategic communications Summit in Addis Ababa.

The Summit, scheduled between May 8 and May 10 is organised by the African Public Relations Association with assistance from Commission.

The Commission’s Directorate of Information and Communication said in a statement that Mr Paul Mutie, President of the African Public Relations Institute, Mr Erastus Mwencha- Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission, Mr John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana and Mr Haile Mariam Desalegn,Ethiopian Prime Minister would deliver keynote addresses at the event.

“The summit will find ways of helping to shape or reshape the perception of Africa.” It said Public Relations experts and media personnel from within and outside Africa would participate in the summit.

APRA succeeds the Federation of African Public Relations Associations.

APRA has among its objectives to serve as the clearing house for public relations information in Africa; and set standards of public relations practice through its code of ethics.

The objectives of the association include, fostering the establishment of national and sub-regional public relations associations so that the practice could flourish on the continent; and promotion of African unity and cooperation especially as consultant body to the AU and various agencies.

Others are, publishing bulletins and journals on public relations in Africa; and affiliating with similar international professional bodies.

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