Malawi former president Joyce Banda has highlighted the role her charitable organisation is playing in Malawi and launched Joyce Banda Foundation International Africa Initiative (JBFI Africa) at the United Nations General Assembly Building in New York United States.
“Today the Joyce Banda Foundation International is sending 1,300 students to tertiary education, 3,500 students to secondary school every year and 500,000 business women benefit through business loans, seed capital, training in entrepreneurial skills and linkages to markets,” said Banda during the launch which drew together international Development Agency, philanthropists, investors, family and friends was held over breakfast.
She said the Joyce Banda Foundation International also has a network of 850,000 youths who are taught life skills including health, sports and leadership.
“Through research studies and lessoned learnt, we are able to boast of many successful case studies in Malawi. Recognising that the challenges facing a Malawian women and girl child are the same for the most of Africa, it has therefore pleased the Foundation to refocus its work and rollout into Africa,” said Banda.
Banda announced the launch of the JBFI Africa with a vision, “African women taking a holistic approach to transform their lives together.”
The program will have five pillars: Income generation through agri-business, education, health, leadership and rights.
Banda said: “This strategy recognises the interconnectedness of issues that affect women. The strategy takes a holistic and integrated approach in dealing with them. The strategy appreciates the importance of good governance, gender equality and empowerment of women and girls as the bedrock of development. “
Malawi’s former leader said building on the experiences and lessons learnt from Malawi, JBFI Africa Initiative will aim at building on the Malawi success story into Africa.
“Good political and economic governance guarantees fairness, equity and freedoms. Gender equality unlocks the potential of women and men to allow space for each other. And women empowerment and girls education proactively enhances the capacity of women and girls to participate in matters that affect them,” she said.
Banda said the JBFI Africa has put together a strategic plan, concept document, and implementation model and resource mobilisation strategy with offices in Blantyre, Malawi; Johannesburg, South Africa and New York in the United States.
The Initiative will be rolled out in South Africa, Malawi, Kenya, Uganda, DRC, Gabon, Liberia, Ghana, Egypt and Mauritania
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