By Gabriel Ewepu
A non-profit-making international women organisation, Women Advancement for Economic and Leadership Empowerment, WAELE, at the weekend, mobilised women from 28 African countries to converge in Abuja for a two-day peace building/training workshop.
The Founder, WAELE, Dr Basirat Nahibi-Niasse, in a welcome address said the essence of the training was to equip women who are members of WAELE to tackle challenges affecting peace in Africa towards becoming champions of global peace.
Nahibi-Niasse who founded the organisation in 2004 also disclosed that it will soon establish WAELE Africa Women television and radio stations that will commence operation from its headquarters in Windhoek, Namibia.
According to her, the stations will give voice to voiceless women and showcase issues concerning women in various spheres of life across Africa, with reports from 11 cities including New York, Abuja, Lagos, Dakar, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Addis Ababa, Cairo, Algiers, Johannesburg and Douala.
She said: “In the last decade and a half since the formation of WAELE/ARCELFA, we have collectively struggled very hard to overcome daunting odds that could have exhausted the endurance of the most incurable optimist.
“With hope, passion, energy and intellect being the most visible and available human resources noticeable in all of our members, we courageously, boldly and self-reliantly embarked on this selfless endeavour to become champions of global peace and relentless advocates for the total emancipation of women.
“We have therefore invested our valuable time, precious material and scarce financial resources to promote the cause of peace, by empowering women and displaced families in areas devastated by incessant wars, violence and communal conflicts.”
Recalling the last peace summit held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in November 2017 with the theme: The Role and Participation of Women in Peace and Conflict Resolution in Africa, she said WAELE has participated in several missions including the Sudanese General Women Union, SGWU, held in Khartoum on Darfur issues in 2008, reopening of the Sudanese border with Chad and reopening of the Sudanese Embassy in Ndjamena, Chad. In 2009, WAELE organised peace summit for women in collaboration with SGWU, which over 3,000 women attended, among others.
Meanwhile, a communiqué was issued at the end of the workshop and critical resolutions were taken on issues that would be addressed to improve peace and living conditions of women in Africa.
Part of the communiqué reads: “WAELE/ARCELFA resolved to support the widow, construct boreholes and water treatment plants, women and specialist hospitals and vocational training centres in all the 52 countries where WAELE/ARCELFA has presence, and the six geo-political zones of Nigeria.
“The meeting received presentations on the final day of the conference from erudite scholars and resource persons on Training, nexus between Peace, Security and Development, Conflict Management, Early Warning, Peacekeeping, Mediation, and Negotiations, all of which were further reviewed during the closing brainstorming session that marked the end of the conference.
“The session on the whole adopted a take-home document on the improvement of the lot of African women. Certificates of training were presented to the participants.”
The training was attended by 78 participants from 28 countries including Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Congo, Congo (DRC), Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Republic of Guinea, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Eswatini (Swaziland), Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zambia.
The next meeting of the organisation was scheduled for Windhoek, Namibia, from1 – 3 November, 2018.