Liberia: 'Gender Equality is key to achieving AfCFTA's objectives'

 VP Howard-Taylor.

... Says VP Howard-Taylor

The Vice President of the Republic of Liberia,  Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor has addressed the 3rd edition of the International Forum for Enterprising and Dynamic Women (FIED) being held at the Fleuve Congo Hotel in Kinshasa,  the Democratic Republic of Congo from December 14th to 16th, 2021. 

The forum, according to dispatch, is one of Africa's biggest gatherings of women which offers a platform for intellectual exchanges on issues of women empowerment. 

This year's edition of the forum is held under the theme: "Accelerating the dynamics of AfCFTA with contribution of dynamic women for the recovery of African Economy,  post COVID -19" under the patronage of His Excellency Felix Antoine Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo and current Chairman of the African Union. 

Serving as Guest Speaker at this unique forum,  Madam Vice President argued that the historical struggle for Africa's liberation and freedom was in two fold: Freedom from Slavery and Economic Freedom. 

The Vice President proffered that the freedom from slavery which ended in the 1990s after Namibia was freed from Apartheid rule,  in no way suggests that the struggle for economic freedom is over.

She admonished the audience that the struggle for economic freedom is an ongoing struggle which requires collective efforts across the African continent.  

Vice President Howard-Taylor intimated that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is more than just ideas of liberation,  options for free movement of goods and services,  for greater integration,  industrialization and collaboration.  

She maintained that the AfCFTA framework remains the basis for the economic freedom Africa urgently needs; for it includes the tenets for peaceful coexistence,  mutually rewarding partnerships,  stability across the African continent,  rapid development,  equality and equity, women and youth empowerment,  and self-actualization of the African people. 

At the heart of Madam Vice President's speech was a profound statement that Gender Equality is key to achieving the AfCFTA's objectives.  

She opined that if women are allowed to play significant roles in innovation, trade, and development,  this framework will be a resounding success for sustained economic growth and development for Africa.  

The Vice President stated that AfCFTA is a unique opportunity for women to use to ensure a process that includes their fullest participation.  She encouraged women to network in order to clearly understand their roles and responsibilities,  build their capacities, aggressively build synergies to allow them to tap into opportunities,  seek and utilize training opportunities,  and become female ambassadors for AfCFTA. 

Vice president Howard-Taylor concluded that the time is now for women to step up to the plate and leave no stone unturned. "Women must engender the spirit of our forefathers and do everything humanly possible to fulfill this dream of economic freedom," the VP said.

The Forum for International and Dynamic Women (FIED) is a non-governmental organization that creates the platform for the convergence of women across the African continent to deliberate on issues relative to women empowerment.