By Lucy Ogalue
The Group President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Mr Akinwumi Adesina, has called for inclusion of women in conflict resolution matters on the African continent.
Adesina made the call during the inauguration of the ultra-modern African First Ladies Peace Mission’s headquarters in Abuja.
He was represented by Mr Lamin Barrow, Director-General, Nigeria Country Department of the AfDB.
The AfDB boss commended Nigeria’s first lady, Dr Aisha Buhari, for her visionary leadership, drive, and dedication, which enabled the construction of the magnificent edifice within 12 months.
He said the building was emblematic of the critical leadership role of African First Ladies in fostering peace in Africa.
He said nothing works without peace and security. And there could not be development without peace and security.
”Many parts of Africa face huge security challenges from conflicts and wars, and 85 per cent of Africans live either in or close to a country in conflict.
”Africa is tired of wars and conflicts. I strongly support the African Union’s(AU) clarion call for silencing the guns.
“Women and children are disproportionately affected by wars and conflicts. Women refugees suffer from sexual assaults, violence, brutality, and criminality.
“We hear of the horrors of peacekeepers harassing and sexually assaulting women, and their voices are often silenced by those who are to protect them.
“Men make wars, women make peace. Women must therefore be included in peace-making, peace-building, conflict resolution, and reconstruction efforts. Sexually-based violence, abductions, forced conscription, and human trafficking against women must end,” he said.
According to Adesina, African first ladies are critical to African Leaders and the AU’s efforts to ensure a peaceful and secure Africa by 2063.
He commended the efforts of the first ladies towards addressing violence, promoting the role of women, fostering a culture of peace, and reducing conflict.
He said:“we have a collective responsibility to stand united in our efforts to resolve conflicts, break cycles of violence, and combat fragility.
“We must recognise a strong link between security, investment, growth, and development.
“That is why AfDB is working with the AU to develop security-indexed investment bonds to mobilise resources for addressing instability, protecting investments and livelihoods, and rebuilding infrastructure in conflict areas.”
The AfDB boss said the bank also supported vulnerable and internally displaced women in refugee camps across the Sahel region.
He reiterated that the African first ladies peace mission had an important role in addressing conflict and fragility and building resilience.
He then expressed the bank’s commitment to supporting the groups’ efforts and maintaining a strong partnership with the organisation.
”Together, let us champion the cause of peace across Africa. Let us redouble our efforts to support women in areas of fragility.
“From the halls of this worthy edifice, let the interventions and clarion call for peace usher in new seasons of sustained stability, development, and prosperity across Africa.
“Let peace reign in every village, community, town, city, nation, from the Sahel to the horn of Africa, from the north to the south, from the east to the west. Across Africa, let peace reign,” he said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Sadiya Hamza