Abuja, Nigeria, Nov. 23, GNA - First Lady Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo has appealed to all peace loving individuals and entities to support the building of a befitting headquarters for the African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM) in Abuja, Nigeria.
She said the edifice would provide not just a meeting venue, for the Mission, but a place where concrete experiences were shared, and institutional memory developed and disseminated.
She said the building would also enable the storage of research materials and serve as a place where strategies were developed to advance peace on the African continent.
The AFLPM that involves all first ladies of African states serve as the international voice for global peace and reconciliation through mediation and humanitarian assistance to victims of violent conflict.
Delivering a goodwill message at the Ninth General Assembly summit of the African First Ladies Peace Mission in Abuja, Nigeria on Monday, Mrs Akufo-Addo, called on “all lovers of peace and development to contribute to the building of this headquarters.
"We must act and act speedily because Peace is essential to our development," she said.
A brief sod-cutting ceremony for the building of the AFLPM secretariat on a piece of land provided by the Nigerian government was undertaken by the first ladies alongside the AFLPM summit that was hosted by Mrs Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s first Lady, in Abuja.
The summit was also graced by Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari and other high profiled personalities, including Alhaji Rashid Bawa, Ghana’s High Commission to Nigeria.
Mrs Akufo-Addo emphasized the need for her counterparts to rally together to build a solid foundation for the organisation to succeed in its mandate, and therefore, made “a passionate appeal for us all to support” the endeavour.
She expressed the hope that the deliberations and the outcome of the summit would set the tone for accelerated progress towards peace and security on the continent.
The AFLPM, translated into
French as Mission de Paix des Premieres Dames D’Afrique (MIPREDA), is an outcome of the September 1995 Fourth World Conference held in Beijing, China on women.
The idea of the Peace Mission, arose from the need to provide succour to the helpless in crisis situations in Africa, especially women, who are the most vulnerable, and bear the burden of violent conflicts, as they are usually defenceless, left with orphans, made slaves in war zones, often at the mercy of rampaging rebels, insurgents.
These women are ultimately left to nurse the wounded and contend with the resulting poverty.
The coalition of AFLPM, therefore, represents a critical stakeholder that is contributing to the mitigation of violent conflicts and minimize the negative impact on the people, especially women and children of Africa.
The role of AFLPM equally enhances the protection and advancement of African women in conflict areas, while helping to complement the efforts of the Presidents’ spouses to ensure that some specific goals of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were achieved.
The AFLPM, has subsequently rendered support to women and children, as well as made a lot of contributions in fostering peace on the continent, in advocacy in matters concerning the rights and protection of women, children, and the girl child from violence.
By Lydia Kukua Asamoah, GNA’s Special Correspondent in Abuja, Nigeria