Malawi and regional bloc, SADC, Chair President Joyce Banda has awarded four “distinguished women of Africa” for their “various selfless roles and contribution towards ensuring that women claim their rightful places in the society”.
The four are Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija from Nigeria, Mrs. Alsha Emi from Somalia, Mrs. Litha Ogana from Kenya, and Malawi’s Chief Justice Anastanzia Msosa.
The award ceremony took place at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Monday.
The occasion, whose theme was “Celebrating African Women”, was a continuation of the 10th anniversary celebrations of the African Union Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the “Rights of Women in Africa.”
The award presentation ceremony also coincides with the 16th anniversary celebrations of the Joyce Banda Foundation (JBF) in Malawi.
The JBF has programmes that aim to economically empower women and build their leadership skills. The Foundation also promotes girls education through provision of scholarships at secondary and tertiary levels, according to its Executive Director, Edith Akridge, who also spoke at the event.
“These women have contributed and continue to contribute to the achievements of the African Union Protocol on Women’s Rights,” said President Banda.
The Malawi Head of State described the four women as awesome inspiration to women and girls of Africa and exhorted her womenfolk to take the initiative of the continent’s development in their own hands.
According to a presidential press aide, Tusekele Mwanyongo, Mrs. Alakija received her Award for her contribution towards Access to Economic and Social Welfare Rights; Chief Justice Msosa, SC, for her contribution towards Access to Justice and Equal Protection before Law; Mrs. Haji Elmi for her contribution towards Right to Peace; and Mrs. Musyimi–Ogana, for her contribution towards Right to Participation in the Political and Decision – Making Process.