King Mohammed VI of Morocco has called on all stakeholders in Africa, government, private sector and civil society to spare no effort to consolidate the leading role of women as key drivers of development.
“Any obstacle to the empowerment of women is in itself a stumbling block, impeding the continent’s development,” said King Mohammed VI in a message to the second edition of the annual Women in Africa Summit, held in Marrakech sept.27-28.
The Monarch who focused on the importance of gender equality as a development leverage, pointed out that despite the
number of initiatives launched to mainstreaming gender equality in the formulation, planning and implementation of public policies, African women are still suffering from injustice on the ground.
“…Given the injustice African women are still suffering from on the ground, we are all duty-bound to work to promote women’s roles and make African women a central element in national plans for social and economic development, thereby strengthening their leading role in society,” the King said in his message read out before some 400 participants from 70 countries.
As part of its development process, Africa is called upon to leverage all its assets and resources – particularly its intangible capital – and to develop its human resources, especially highly qualified African women, he said.
He insisted that measures aimed at achieving gender equality should be the cornerstone of any viable sustainable development strategy and called for further efforts to promote women’s participation in development and decision-making in order to make the most of their ever-growing role as entrepreneurs and business leaders on the continent.
“Needless to say, in this regard, the government, the private sector and civil society all have a crucial part to play in consolidating the leading role of women as key drivers of development,” he said.
“No country, economy, business or society can tackle today’s challenges, nor ensure optimal use of its resources and energies, without the full involvement of women,” he added.
Therefore, the Monarch noted, African women should be able to help change the situation prevailing in their respective countries and to harness their tremendous potential for the emergence of a strong, united Africa that confidently and resolutely moves forward in its quest for a better future.
The King who surveyed in his message, read out by his Advisor Abdellatif Menouni, the initiatives and actions undertaken in Morocco in favor of the promotion of the status of women, reiterated the kingdom’s strong and constant commitment to gender equality, which is “at the same time a fundamental human right, a requirement as per the law and a necessity for the achievement of socio-economic development”.
He also expressed Morocco’s willingness to share with African sister nations its experience in facilitating the institutionalization of gender budgeting, in order to ensure that African women can effectively contribute to the acceleration of the pace of change in the continent.
The Women in Africa Initiative aims to promote competent and talented women leaders in Africa and to highlight the role played by women in stimulating comprehensive development on the continent.
This year WIA summit unfolds at the level of two thematic plenary sessions, namely “Trust, a prerequisite for inclusive development?” and “Win the battle of education”.
The event also features brainstorming sessions and masterclasses.