On August 4-6, 2014, President Obama will be hosting the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit; a historical event that will bring together over 50 African heads of state to discuss current trends and US-Africa relations going forth. Building off of the President’s visit to the continent in 2013, the summit will take place in various well-known locations in Washington, D.C. and aims to set the stage for an emphasis on trade and investment, security, development, and the engagement of African civil society.
In order to truly take advantage of the heightened buzz in regard to Africa, FEMNET, DAWN and OXFAM have decided to use the #TheAfricaWeWant hashtag to allow the Diaspora as well as Americans to get involved. #TheAfricaWeWant will be a call to action for the African leaders, a social media platform where you can communicate your ideas and leaders can learn what their citizenry wants for their countries and continent. In doing so, participants are holding their leaders accountable for the promises and statements made over the course of the three-day summit. Use this hashtag on your social media accounts to make your voice heard!
To kick this off, Vital Voices Global Partnership reached out to its partners on the continent and asked them about the Africa they want to see.
“We now understand the importance of utilizing our resources well. Our potential also continues to be maximized. If we use our resources to implement our bold ideas, we will undoubtedly achieve Africa’s full potential.” –Monica Malega, Advocacy Officer, Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited
“The U.S. experience and support can greatly help these countries achieve their goals, especially in areas of economic growth, democratization, & good governance; most of which are still in their infancy stages on the African continent.” -Dr. Victoria Kisymobe, Founder, Sero Lease and Finance Ltd (SELFINA)
“Despite efforts from various corners of the continent, transparency and accountability, and Africa’s development remain a contradiction.” –Hameda Deedat, Advocacy Program Consultant, Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa
“With a private sector lead economy demand for transparency will be great. The tax payers are now demanding accountability and transparency. We still need a lot of civic education so that our people can learn to vote on ideas and hold our leaders accountable to our vision and plans.” -Gudula Basaza, Chairperson, Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited
“We need vibrant women leaders that will support economic empowerment of women living in rural areas. When you empower a woman, you are empowering a community, and ultimately a nation.” –Joy Eze, VVLead Fellow, Nigeria
“I’d like to see constructive youth engagement and involvement, specifically young women to come up with realistic solutions to a myriad of challenges the continent faces. When leaders involve this group they will own these solutions and follow through to ensure sustainability of programs.” – Tamala Sarah Chirwa, VVLead Fellow, Malawi
“Our leaders need to discuss, and come up with practical ways of providing skills development to the youth, across sectors.”–Agnes Fallah Kamara Umunna, VVLead Fellow, Liberia
We have heard their voices. Now it is your turn to join the conversation using #TheAfricaWeWant
What is your perspective on:
- Africans making positive changes in their nations and neighborhoods?
- the state of US diplomacy and development assistance with African countries?
- why the US government or its citizens should address poverty and inequality in Africa?
- transparency, accountability, and the future of civic engagement in Africa?
Vital Voices supports the work of African women leaders through a number of programs:
- Vital Voices Grow (VV Grow) Fellowship Program
- Vital Voices Lead (VV Lead) Fellowship Program
- Supporting Public Advocacy for Regional Competitiveness (SPARC) Program
- The Fortune/U.S. State Department Women’s Mentoring Program