The 9th Africities Summit held from 17th -21st May 2022 in Kisumu Kenya brought together about 5000 delegates comprising of senior government officials, including elected mayors, representative of international organisations, investors and civil society organisations. Pertinent topics related to future urbanization of Africa, climate change and resilience, trade and investment, digital economy, culture, inclusion of diversity and inclusion in local and regional government in a context of political and institutional transition and issues impacting on women amongst others were discussed in the various side events. Delegates were provided with the opportunity to participate, share expertise and draw lessons from other countries experiences on how to move Africa forward.
Principal Secretary for Social Affairs Department, Mrs Linda William-Melanie was invited as a panelist amongst three others from Ugandan, Tanzania and Mauritania to share Seychelles’ experience on Economic Empowerment of Women, their rights to own land and protection from violence. The session was held on 19th May and in her presentation, PS william-Melanie highlighted Seychelles achievements in gender equality, gender parity all of which is founded on the provision of the Charter of fundamental human rights and freedom enshrined in our Constitution and other modern legislative and policy framework.
The session and panel discussion was well animated with diverse views and experiences of the different countries participating in the session. It was recognised that most countries have the appropriate legal and governance framework but implementation and monitoring were major setbacks that hindered the advancement of women especially to own land for entrepreneurship. At the end of the session, all delegates concurred that much have been done but there is still a long way to go to eliminate cultural practices that are more harmful to women. The way forward is continuous education of the population, strengthen monitoring of implementation of laws and policies and remove barriers hindering women economic empowerment.
PS William-Melanie participated in other side-events in which other Seychelles delegates including former President Danny Faure were panelist and made presentation on climate change and sustainable cities, climate change and sustainable development. Mr David Andre in his capacity as Mayor of Victoria headed the Seychelles delegation. To note, former President Danny Faure was a panelist in a session with young elected leaders on the last day of the Summit. The Seychelles delegates was privileged to meet with him to share the topics of our presentations.
The Summit provided the platform for sharing of best practices in all areas of socio-economic development and each country could draw on the experiences shared to innovate and continue to make progress to achieve the sustainable development goals.