African Gender Forum and Award
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Ms Bineta Diop’s speech
Founder and Executive Director Femmes Africa Solidarité


bineta diopAfrican women have shown strength, tenacity and steadfastness in working to build peace and reconcile conflicts in their communities, countries and continent. The launch of the African Gender Forum and the African Gender Award were particularly important moments in the history of Femmes Africa Solidarité, and a stepping stone towards our future goals and aspirations. The African Gender Forum is an opportunity to create an on-going dialogue across borders, and I am proud of the diversity of contributions we enjoy from various communities, countries and sectors of society.

I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to the 2007 African Gender Award recipient H.E. President Paul Kagamé, President of the Republic Rwanda. I thank him for his continued support for women’s advancement and gender equality, and congratulate him on his achievements in implementing the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa. I would also like to offer my congratulations for his commitment and innovation in encouraging policies which even go beyond the criteria of the Declaration.

The African Gender Award celebrates the achievements of a country by recognizing the Head of State’s initiatives towards gender promotion. It also recognizes a member of the Private Sector that promotes gender equality in the economic spheres and a women’s organization among the Civil Society for its commitment in mainstreaming the gender agenda. I congratulate the Banque Populaire pour la Promotion de la Femme and Pro-Femmes/Twese Hamwe, respectively Private sector and Civil society recipients and designated by their country for their promotion of gender, peace and development.

I certainly look forward to seeing these inspirational successes being translated into practice throughout other countries across Africa.

In addition, I would like to thank the distinguished members of the Selection Committee, who have worked so hard to recognize and celebrate the vision and achievements of those African Leaders who are working for gender equality, peace and development. We are still celebrating 2005 African Gender Award recipients H.E. President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal and H.E. President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa who have spearheaded the gender principal in the African Union.

I greatly look forward to celebrating the work of H.E President Kagamé, and his fellow nominees from the Private Sector and Civil Society, at the African Gender Award ceremony, which will take place this year alongside the African Gender Forum in 2007 in Dakar (Senegal).


Yours in solidarity,
Bineta Diop