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technology 25 Nov 2019

African Union Commission takes a great step on gender equality and women empowerment

By Waiswa Wafula

At the onset of February 2021, the African Union (AU) held its 38th ordinary session a virtual meeting of its executive council with of the agendas was to elect six new members of the African Union Commission.

The committee will be crucial in developing sustainable and comprehensive strategy on the transition of the Fund for African Women (FAW) into a Trust Fund for African Women and oversee the implementation of the proposed activities for the fund to ensure transparency and efficiency.

With its long time promise to improve gender balance in its leadership and women empowerment, Monique Nsanzabaganwa was elected as the Deputy Chair of the Commission becoming the first woman to take up the role. She previously served as the Deputy governor of the national Bank of Rwanda and earlier Minister for Trade and Industry in Rwanda.

Alongside Dr. Nsanzabaganwa, the other four commissioners are now women and will work with the commission chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat from Chad to tackle issues like the blue economy, sustainable environment, infrastructure and energy as well as Science, Technology and Innovation.

The appointment of female commissioners is in line with the Maputo Protocol, which requires African States ensure the participation of women at all levels of decision making and eliminate stereotypical roles. For the first time, women will be in the majority on the commission, which runs the daily operations of the African Union and carries out the policies and decisions of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, the supreme policy-making body.