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Africasfuture En

Africasfuture En

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Published by Renee Davis-Marcel

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Published by: Renee Davis-Marcel on Dec 21, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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There arecurrently
women activein sub-SaharanAricaneconomies.This number isexpected to growby nearly
 over the next10 years
in Cape Verde
o businesses in Ghanaare run by women
in Rwanda
My paternal grandmother – who lived to be 102 – was considered by manystandards to be a woman who lived ahead o her time
She and my grandfather hadseven children - three girls and four boys. Although she was a school teacher andmy grandfather a preacher in the Lutheran church they lived a relatively modest rurallife. But being an educated woman herself, a value that she enforced very rmlyin her family was that all her children – girls and boys – would be given an equalopportunity to receive a good education. Fortunately my grandparents could affordthis. However, my grandmother was often heard to say that if their ability to do sowas ever curtailed – due to crop failure for example – she would spend her lastpound educating her three girls. This was because she held strongly to the belief that while
educating a boy child was to educate the man, to educate a girl on theother hand meant educating a nation.
This belief continues and is evident in myfamily even today. The stories you will read about in this report – of courage, resilience and success insome of the most difcult of circumstances – represent a very small cross sectionof women doing their bit in Africa. However they do clearly demonstrate thatinvesting in women is still the smart thing to do and it yields the highest social returnon investments. What the stories will make you appreciate is that women in Africaare truly the backbone of their communities and that the future of Africa will bedetermined by how well we are able to tap into this wealth of human capital thathas largely gone underutilised, underappreciated and undervalued.We hope these compelling stories will illustrate for you how investing in and tappinginto the potential of women is particularly key to unlocking Africa’s own economicpotential. As a number of studies have shown, an educated woman has the bestchance of creating wealth because her education translates into further investmentin her own family. It translates into better nutrition for her family, better education forher children, better healthcare, and a better quality of life overall. This is less likelyto be the case when a man’s fortunes improve. In contrast the money tends to gomore towards improving the man’s own social status.Beyond the benets to a woman’s immediate family, the social benets of investingin women nearly always help to create wealth by women sharing knowledge withother women in their communities based on what they have learned. We at ONErecently heard rst hand from a group of African women entrepreneurs who told ushow they consciously endeavour to share with their peers any information on whathas worked for them because they know it will be put into practice and will helpother families in the community. The inspiring stories of the women in this report will also leave you bafed as towhy women continue to face immense challenges – from lack of access to fundingfor their businesses to negative property rights laws. And yet given half a chance,women will continue to overcome these challenges and to lift their families, theircommunities and their nations out of poverty.It is time to invest in African women to create a brighter future for Africa.Dr Sipho Moyo
ONE is a campaign and advocacy organisationwith more than 2 million members committedto the ght against extreme poverty andpreventable disease, particularly in Arica.For more inormation, visit:www.ONE.org
Dr Sipho Moyo
I the world is serious abouttackling extreme poverty anddisease, then it’s time to stepup our investments in Arica’swomen and girls.It’s time to make a change.
Over the past decade, most eorts inthe ght against poverty have ocusedon delivering high-impact solutions suchas immunisations, bed nets to protectagainst malaria and ertilisers to boostarm yields. These investments haveachieved impressive results and shouldbe expanded. Yet without creating thelong-term conditions or development andsel-suciency – committed, transparentleadership and strong economies – theseresults cannot be sustained.A new development strategy that invests inthe potential o Arican women to improvegovernance and achieve sustainable,equitable economic growth will help Aricaput itsel on a path to meet the MDGs by2015 and to eradicate poverty and achieveprosperity in the years ahead.The recommendations in this report outlinethe steps that all development partnersshould take to improve governance, createeconomic opportunity and increase smartinvestments to meet the MGDs by 2015,especially by tapping into the potential owomen and girls to drive their countries’development.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a set o targets aimed at reducing global poverty and disease by 2015. Leaders rom 189 nations committed to these goals when they signed the MillenniumDeclaration at the United Nations General Assembly in 2000. Progress towards the MDGs will be reviewed when world leaders gather or the annual UN General Assembly in September 2010.
uch more needs to be done to unleashthe potential of Africa’s 430 million womenand girls. The United Nations MillenniumDevelopment Goals (MDGs) Summitthis September is one place where theworld must throw its support behind them.
We knowwhat’s needed to unleash the potential of women andgirls around the globe – better hospitals, more girls inschool, easier ways to start and grow a business andgreater opportunities for women to be leaders. Africa’s future depends on the continent meetingsome seemingly impossible challenges over thenext decade: making sure that mothers stop dyingwhile giving birth, carving out a place for itself in theglobal economy, helping farmers grow enough tofeed their families and communities, educating thenext generation of leaders. Africa won’t be successfulunless we invest in the future of its women – asfarmers, mothers, doctors, entrepreneurs – and allowthem to thrive and drive change, from their homes tothe halls of government. The women proled in this report – from the Tanzaniansweet potato farmer to the director general of Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission –are the powerhouses behind Africa’s progress overthe last decade, demonstrating what is possible incommunities across the continent.We know that Africa’s future is female. Let’s makesure that future is a bright one by stepping up ourinvestment in women and girls.
Womenmakeup anestimated70% opeopleliving inextremepovertyworldwide

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