African Gender Award

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African Gender Award and Forum 2005
Dakar, Senegal
1st - 2nd May 2005

The first African Gender Forum, organized by FAS, in conjunction with the Arab International Women's Forum
, was held in Dakar Senegal, from 1st - 2nd  May 2005. The African Gender Award was presented to H.E President Wade of Senegal, and Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, on behalf of H.E President Mbeki of South Africa, at a special ceremony on the evening of 2nd May.

The African Gender Forum was designed in the vision of contributing to build a space of exchanges and dialogue, to harmonise, strategize and emphasize the action of the African continent women's networks. As such, the Forum, entitled ‘Dialogue with Arab Women on Economic and Political Issues', was an opportunity to bring together women African women and women from other continents to share experiences and discuss important current issues, from a multi-dimensional approach, taking into account the economic, social, and political and gender perspectives.

African Gender Award and Forum 2005

Panel of participants at the forum

Over 100 delegates from 32 countries participated, including the First Lady of the Republic of Senegal, the Vice-President of the Republic of Gambia, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Africa and the First Lady of the Republic of Egypt. Delegates discussed the themes of ‘Dialogue and Experience Sharing'; ‘Networking and Partnership'; and ‘The Way Forward', which were addressed during the various workshops, speaker lunches and plenary sessions held over the two days.

Held in the spirit that economic empowerment and balanced leadership that includes women are necessary for a lasting peace, the forum defined the four following objectives:

- Inspiring a durable commitment to mainstreaming and accountability on gender issues;

- Learning lessons from the Arab and African experiences on the African continent;

- Strengthening concerted action between actors in public and economic spheres;

- Instilling a culture of solidarity at the continental level.

The event was also the occasion to lay the first stone at the site of the PanAfrican Centre for Gender, Peace and Development. The Centre was established by FAS and is intended to become one of the Centres of Excellence in Africa, with the goal of providing advanced training in peace building and development issues, with an emphasis on gender. The Vice-President of Gambia, Mrs Isatu Mjie Saidy, spoke at the opening ceremony, highlighting the ‘struggle of the African women movement and their quest for peace and development'. She also blessed the Centre.

African Gender Award and Forum 2005

Laying the foundation stone for the Pan African Centre  

On Monday 2nd May around four hundred guests gathered to celebrate the presentation of the first African Gender Award to H.E President Wade of Senegal. Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma also accepted the Award on behalf of H.E President Mbeki of South Africa. Both Presidents were nominated to receive the Award in recognition of their commitment to achieving gender parity and gender mainstreaming in the African Union. Their support for the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa was crucial in its adoption by the African Union in July 2004.

The evening included performances by Rokya Trouré, Coumba Gaowlo, Ajah Sy, Kiné Lam, Ndèye Fatou Ndiaye and the Pirates of Yengoulène dance troupe. Short films about the history of FAS, by Mr Pape Mbengue, the efforts by FAS to advance gender mainstreaming in the African Union, and the future of the PanAfrican Centre were also shown to the audience.

African Gender Award and Forum 2005

Coumba Gawlo at the Award Ceremony

The Forum was also supported by the regional bureau for UNDP, OSIWA and the Government of Senegal, while the Award was greatly aided by CNES, Senelac, the Convention du Baol and the Senegalese designer Collé Sow Ardo.

It is hoped that the African Gender Forum and Award will be institutionalised as a regular event every two years.

African Gender Award and Forum 2005

President Wade of Senegal receiving his award