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Green economy and women's empowerment

Green economy and women's empowerment
Green economy and women's empowerment

Dominique Ouattara, First Lady of Côte d'Ivoire, has now taken the lead for the empowerment of women in the green economy. On Wednesday, November 29, 2017, the wife of the Head of State invited to Ivoire Golf Club the First Ladies and spouses of Head of Government present in Abidjan for the 5th AU-EU summit, to share her new vision and discuss on the role of women in the green economy.

This debate was organized on the sidelines of the summit to reflect on the sustainable development in Africa and highlight the need for African countries to move resolutely towards a green economy. This was also the opportunity for Mrs. Dominique Ouattara to congratulate Arnold Schwarzenegger, former governor of California and founder of R20 Green fund Foundation. To conclude, she expressed the hope that the fund will be available to support women's projects.

In addition, Mrs. Dominique Ouattara explained to her fellow first ladies the need for African countries to make the transition to a green economy. "This important meeting gives us the opportunity to create a common framework to reflect on " women’s role in the green economy "in our respective countries. Indeed, if we want to  integrate green economy into our different communities, we must absolutely take into account the specific roles of each in the management of our natural resources. Today, whether in Europe or Africa, women are involved in all key sectors of the economy. Their undeniable role in the economy necessarily places them at the heart of policies and strategies to be implemented for inclusive sustainable development. We must therefore pay particular attention to women’s potential in the implementation of this economic model, "she explained.

Also, for Mrs. Dominique Ouattara, three (03) factors are essential for the involvement of women in the green economy. According to her, it is about women's capacity building, technology transfer and financing. She also believes that, financing is the backbone of all activities because it gives women the means to implement their projects. As example, Mrs. Dominique Ouattara highlighted the initiatives taken in Côte d'Ivoire to promote the ​​green economy. In this regard, she recalled that the Ivorian government has initiated projects under the national development program for the period 2016-2020 in the sector of agriculture, reforestation and renewable energies. On this last point, she revealed that the Ivorian government has decided to accelerate the implementation of renewable energies projects. As such, three (03) projects are under investigation in the north of the country. With regard to biomass, Côte d'Ivoire will sign the first commercial biomass project that will produce energy from waste oil palm. To this will be added the construction of a biogas plant in 2019 to be supplied by the household waste. "I remain convinced that the green economy is a real opportunity for all women around the world. We must therefore take full ownership of this new approach, in order to become essential actors of sustainable development in our countries. We must protect our planet at all costs, "she said to the First Ladies.

Early on, Mrs. Michèle Sabban, President of the R 20 Green Fund Foundation, made a presentation on  both her association and the role of women in the green economy. According to her, the potential of women as active participants in the energy sector has so far been underestimated in Africa.

Several First Ladies also shared their experience in the field of green economy and sustainable development at this forum. These include Mrs Aminata Maïga Keïta, First Lady of Mali, Mrs Constancia Mangue de Obiang, First Lady of Equatorial Guinea, Mrs Hinda Deby Itno, First Lady of Chad, Mrs Ambari Azali, First Lady of the Comoros, Mrs Ana Diaz Lourenzo, First Lady of Angola and Mrs Aïssatou Issoufou Mahamadou, First Lady of Niger. The ceremony ended with an art exhibition.