On Thursday (11/14) night, leaders from all over Africa gathered at the International Conference on Family Planning for the African Women’s Leadership Network (AWLN) High Level Panel, held in partnership with IPPF. The event, opened by Theo Sowa, CEO of the African Women Development Fund, featured a panel discussion on family planning access and maternal mortality reduction.
“Strong management and good governance are necessary to improve access to family planning,” panelist Dr. Michael T. Mbizvo, Former Director Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR) at the World Health Organization said. The panel echoed Mbizvo’s emphasis on management and governance, and added that women’s leadership should be elevated to improve health outcomes, setting the stage to introduce LMG’s new publication, An Open Mind and a Hard Back: Conversations of African Women Leaders. The well-received publication featured interviews with many AWLN members that are Members of Parliament(MP) in their home countries and have displayed strong leadership for reproductive health.
The AWLN High Level Panel in pictures:
Kweku Brenu (middle), Regional Chair, IPPF Africa Region gives opening remarks with Lucien Kouakou (lef), Regional Director, IPPF Africa Region, and Ngarmbatina Odjimbeye Soukate (right), representative of HE Debyltno, First Lady of the Republic of Chad.
HE Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi (left), First Lady of Nigeria’s Ekiti State, speaks on the High Level Panel beside Hon. Marie-Rose Nguini (middle), MP in Cameroon, and Dr. Michael Mbizvo (right).
Tewodros Melesse, Director General of IPPF, gives closing remarks.
Elly Mugumya, Director of the LMG/IPPF Partnership, introduces LMG publication, An Open Mind and a Hard Back: Conversations with African Women Leaders.
Hon. Ruth Kavuma (left), former MP in Uganda and founding Chairperson of Mama Alive, holds An Open Mind and a Hard Back with Hon. Sylvia Ssinabulya, (middle), MP in Uganda, and Sarah Lindsay (right), technical officer for LMG. Both Hon. Kavuma and Hon. Ssinabulya are featured in the publication.
An Open Mind and a Hard Back: Conversations with African Women Leaders is available on the LMG website.