The African Union Commission has inaugurated the African Union Commission Internal Committee on the Fund for African Women, a demonstration of the commitment by the Union to advance its quest for gender equality and women’s empowerment. The Committee will be crucial in developing sustainable and comprehensive strategy on the transition of the Fund for African Women into a Trust Fund for African Women and oversee the implementation of the proposed activities for the fund to ensure transparency and efficiency.
While installing the new members of the committee, the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission Amb. Kwesi Quartey stated that the Committee will be a game-changer for the Commission and Union to optimize the contributions from Member States, whose 1% contribution provides continuous and sustainable financial resource through a Trust Fund for the Africa, Women, topped with the 0.5% contribution from the AU operational budget. “I believe together, we are going to find great opportunities and best solutions to unlock the potential of the African Union to fulfil its commitment to empower our African women and young girls, as a prerequisite for sustainable development and a practical demonstration of the recognition and importance we place on women in our society. As I prepare to leave office, I am very pleased that this is one of the great projects that my team and I will have set in motion and I believe my successor will ensure that the work of this Committee is fruitful,” the Deputy Chairperson stated.
Economic Empowerment is central to the creation of gender equality, social equality, and obtaining the vision of creating vibrant, healthy and inclusive communities. Women’s empowerment remains a prerequisite for sustainable development and pro-poor poverty reduction, and the recognition of women in their society. However, due to the limited sources of both private and public financing for women economic empowerment in Africa, coupled with the inadequate financing from national and international public funds, it became imperative for the African Union to establish a Trust Fund to compliment governments and international efforts in funding women economic programmes in Africa.
Victoria Maloka, the Acting Director of the African Union Commission Directorate of Women, Gender and Youth observed that, “as we phase out of the Fund for African Women (FAW) in preparation for the Trust fund, it is important to conduct an evaluation of the entire FAW and propose an effective mechanism to manage the new Trust fund, to ensure there are no or very few implementation challenges so our African women and young girls continue to benefit and move from micro to macro business projects and enterprises”. This fund is also being aligned to Agenda 2063 with a particular focus on the implementation of key priorities of AU Strategy for Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment including the African Women Decade.
This Committee will be vital in developing the Union’s resource mobilization objectives for the Trust Fund for African Women and overseeing the implementation of the activities. The Committee’s mandate also aligns with the framework of the African Union Financing of the Union decision and the financial rules and regulations that calls upon us to ensure reliable and sufficient resource mobilization as well as prudent management of the resources to have a positive impact on the African citizenry through the projects and activities of the African Union.
The inauguration of the Internal Committee is particularly timely as the Directorate of Women, Gender and Development that has now transitioned to the Women, Gender and Youth Directorate, enhances its implementation of the Gender Parity Project and rolls-out the activities for the African Women Decade on Financial and Economic Inclusion (2020-2030).