An Empty Stomach Has No Ears; Invest In Women NGOs
Adelaide Hoodless said: “Educate a boy, and you educate an individual. Educate a girl, and you educate a community.” Brigham Young also said: “You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.” Many more versions of this quote have been mentioned over time and this only proves the importance of empowering the girl child.
The 2014 EU-Africa Summit in Brussels has a significant theme — “Investing in People, Prosperity and Peace” hence the importance of discussing the need for increased investments in women NGOs in Africa. Organizations such as Agile Organic International have set the pace by empowering women in West Africa to access land and practice modern farming. This in return has enabled these women to educate their children without the discrimination of the girl child thus promising a strong educated generation in the making.
With an estimated 240 million people in the Sub-Saharan Africa hungry and lacking basic nourishment, this continent is in dire need of measures that will see the number go down fast. A United Nations’ report of 2012 stated that by the year 2008, 47% of Africans were living under $1.25 a day. This is the highest number of poor people in any continent globally and the starving population still makes almost a third of the global hungry population.
The main causes of starvation in Africa are Poverty and poor economic policies among other debatable factors such as population growth. Population growth hinders the economic stability only when human resources are under-utilized. Otherwise, a large population in such a rich continent should utilize the resources available to feed not only her people, but the world at large. That also means that there would be no more poverty if this large population was well educated and empowered.
That is the reason why the last EU-Africa Summit of 2010 declared this decade (2010-2020) as the decade of the women. It is therefore very important for African nations to support the increase of the women NGOs to accommodate their valuable input in building and securing a continent that will cease to talk about starving children in Zimbabwe, The Central African Republic, Kenya, South Sudan, Congo, Gambia, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Chad among other starving nations.
These are the issues that the African woman is waiting to see being addressed not only in the 2014 EU-Africa Summit but also in the 25th-29th May, 2014 Women Advancement Forum (WAF) to be held in Banjul, Gambia. With its theme; “empower the woman-give the world a future beyond”, the forum is expected to be a bigger voice for solving the issue on women empowerment and the role of African women in meeting the MDGs.
As revealed by a document in the Freedom Newspaper, EU-Africa relations are largely based on the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, adopted in 2007. The document goes ahead to state that, “alongside this strategy, a 2011-2013 action plan, agreed at the last EU-Africa summit in 2010, sets out concrete targets within specific areas of cooperation, such as peace and security, democratic governance and human rights.”