Ghana’s First Lady, Lordina Mahama, has challenged her colleague African First ladies to channel for more investment into policies that will ensure quality education and increased access for all children especially the girl child.
According to her, despite the proven benefits of women’s education, in Africa girls face enormous challenges in acquiring quality education adding that these challenges are not limited only to enrollment, progression, completion, poverty, accessibility, early marriage and pregnancy, and outdated cultural and religious practices. But also there is also the challenge of lack of a comprehensive and coherent project dedicated to girls’ enrollment into schools and retaining them there.
Mrs Lordina Mahama was addressing the Bush Institute’s 2014 African First Ladies Summit dubbed “Investing in Our Future” attended by First Ladies over 35 African countries on the sidelines of the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington.
She stated that in line with the Ghana government’s policy of providing quality education for the children in the country, her NGO, The Lordina Foundation has instituted a scholarship programme to support brilliant but needy and deprived female students to further their education in Ghana and overseas. It is also working to secure funds for the establishment of dining halls, kitchens and teacher motivation programmes for the deprived communities across the country.
Mrs Lordina Mahama also revealed that the foundation is also facilitating a project to provide accommodation and educational facilities for residents of the Gambaga “witches” camp in the Northern Region and the Gambaga community. The facilities will provide vocational training to the inmates and their dependents.
The First Lady, who is the only African First Lady invited to speak at the symposium, called for public-private partnership to ensure quality education for girls in Africa.
Speaking at the same symposium, the First Lady of the United States of America, Mrs Michelle Obama, observed that “Until we prioritize our girls and understand that they are as important and their education is as important as the education of our sons, then we will have lots of work to do.”
The Bush Institute’s 2014 African First Ladies Summit brought together leaders from non-governmental organizations, private sector partners; faith-based and grassroots organizations; and other leading experts. It is was organized by the Office of the First Lady, Michelle Obama, the George W. Bush Institute, and the U.S. Department of State.
A major highlight of the summit centered on the critical role first spouses play as advocates for women and girls and showcased success stories, best practices in public-private partnerships, and announcements of new initiatives and partnerships that will empower women’s roles in society and lead to improved outcomes for women and girls on the continent of Africa.
The First Lady was accompanied to the summit by the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur.
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