Ghana to Host African First Ladies Conference

Ghana will this week host African First Ladies at a conference on Sexual Health and Rights.

The Conference, which is part of a long-term process of building and fostering regional dialogue on sexual and reproductive health and rights, will take place from the 10th to the 12th of February.

The 7th African Conference on Sexual Health and Rights is being hosted by Mrs. Lordina Mahama, First Lady of Ghana and President of the Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) in collaboration with Curious Minds, Ghana, an organisation of young advocates and youth in broadcasting.

Participating First Ladies are from Kenya, Ethiopia, Mali and Cote D’Ivoire. Others are from Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso and Chad. Other First Ladies expected at the Conference are from Sudan, Madagascar and Mozambique.

The Conference, which will be opened by President John Dramani Mahama on Wednesday February 10, 2016, is on the theme ‘Realizing Demographic Dividend in Africa: the Critical Importance of Adolescents and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights’.

During the Conference, the First Ladies will under the umbrella of OAFLA launch a United Continental “All-In” Adolescent HIV Campaign.

This is a collaborative effort of OAFLA, the Ghana AIDS Commission and the Global “All-In” partners such as UNICEF, UNFPA and UNAIDS to urge governments to prioritize and improve the provision of integrated HIV and Sexual Reproductive Health Services to adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19 years.

Mrs. Mahama will also launch a major campaign towards ending child marriages in Ghana. Being spearheaded by the First Lady through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, the Ghana Ending Child Marriage Initiative aims to raise awareness and garner support towards ending child marriages in Ghana.

Other dignitaries expected in Accra next week for the Conference are the UN Under Secretary and Executive Director of UNFPA, the Deputy Executive Director of UNAIDS, the Africa Union Commissioner for Social Affairs and UNICEF’s Deputy Director for West and Central Africa.

Also in attendance will be the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa, the President of the International Women’s Health Coalition and over 15 Ministers from the Health, Justice, Gender and Youth Ministries across Africa.

In excess of 500 participants, representing various stakeholder and constituency groups across the African continent will be attending the conference. These include policy makers, development partners, civil society organisations, academia, activists, media, adolescents and youth.

Source: Flagstaff House Communication Bureau