January, 2023 - African Renaissance
GENDER EQUALITYHEALTH EQUITYSOCIAL PROTECTIONWATER & SANITATION

Distributing Dignity Kits is a powerful way to support the development of African Girls 

Dignity Kits are an invaluable tool for helping girls in African countries. Especially, for the girls that lack access to basic amenities and resources. By providing these girls with the tools and materials they need to maintain their hygiene, health and dignity, these kits can play an integral role in empowering communities and individuals in some of the world’s poorest countries. 

Dignity Kit distributions are an effective form of gender equality and empowerment. For adolescent girls and women in Africa, accessing basic water and sanitation supplies can be a life-changing opportunity. A lack of access to these resources can often leave girls and women feeling embarrassed, ashamed and vulnerable due to the lack of basic hygiene, health, and dignity. The social stigma associated with not having these resources can leave girls increasingly isolated in their communities and prevent them from reaching their full potential.  

Dignity Kits can also provide ongoing educational opportunities to girls in African countries by ensuring they have the essential items they need in order to attend school. By providing a girl with a Dignity Kit, she will have the supplies necessary to help her reach her educational goals. The kits contain basic water and sanitation supplies, feminine hygiene products, clothing, shoes and educational materials such as writing materials and textbooks. Thus, providing girls with Dignity Kits can increase their confidence, motivate their academic studies and help them to build a successful future for themselves and their families. 

In addition to promoting gender equality, Dignity Kit distributions can also provide a range of health benefits for girls and women in African countries. By providing them with access to basic hygiene and sanitation items, these kits can help to reduce the rates of hygiene-related illnesses, such as skin and respiratory conditions, which are common in under-resourced countries. Furthermore, providing girls and women with access to these resources can also help to reduce their risk of becoming victims of sexual assault and other forms of gender-based violence. 

Together with Biems House, we at African Renaissance had the privilege to talk to a few girls in Narok County in Kenya and one of the requests they had for us was to provide them with these dignity kits. It was an honor to take a trip back to deliver our promise to these girls. We were able to deliver a number of kits with additional kits for the boy. We believe that will small step will show our leaders that it is possible to invest a about five dollars for a kit that will give freedom to a girl for a few months. The confidence that the girls acquire from accessing these basic supplies will have a ripple effect in their future and the future of their communities.  

Having seen the importance of Dignity Kits distribution in Africa, we call upon our leaders and the governments around the world to make every effort to ensure that girls and women in these countries have access to the basic supplies they need to maintain their health, safety, and dignity. This could include increasing access to health infrastructure, providing more resources and education opportunities, and organizing more regular Dignity Kit distributions. In doing so, governments can empower thousands of girls in African countries to reach their full potential. 

GENDER EQUALITYSOCIAL PROTECTION

Improving access to education and providing opportunities for all children

Today, we mark the International Day of Education. This day gives us an opportunity as leaders in Africa to reflect on the progress made in education. It is the time to also set new goals for the future.


Here is a message from our Director, Ms Caroline Kwamboka N.:

On this International Day of Education, I would like us all to take a moment to recognize the hard work and dedication of our teachers and learners in Africa.


We have come a long way in improving access to education and providing opportunities for all children to learn especially for our girls and women. However, we must not rest on our achievements and therefore we need to remain committed to achieving true equity and inclusivity in our education systems.


Today, I call upon all leaders to redouble our efforts to ensure that all children especially our girls have access to a high-quality education, regardless of their background or circumstances. This means investing in our education systems. Therefore, we need to focus on our policies that touch on teachers, schools and providing resources to support students with disabilities. It also means addressing systemic inequalities and ensuring that marginalized communities have the same opportunities as others.
Let us also remember that education is not just about obtaining knowledge, but also about developing critical thinking, creativity and problem-solving skills. Education also shapes our future leaders and entrepreneurs who will shape the future of Africa.


To quote the words of our African hero Nelson Mandela, “Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mine worker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.” 


This is a reminder that we have to make education accessible to all and let us build a better future for Africa together! 

As African Renaissance, we pledge to support our leaders to formulate and implement a policy structure that will give direction on the necessary steps to create an education system that truly serves the needs of all our citizens. 


Happy International Day of Education! 

HEALTH EQUITYSOCIAL PROTECTION

Making healthcare accessible for vulnerable populations in Africa

Making healthcare accessible for vulnerable populations is an important issue that deserves a lot of consideration. Vulnerable populations are generally individuals who are at risk due to economic, social and health-related issues. These groups usually have limited access to basic health care due to a lack of financial resources, living in rural areas, or facing linguistic or cultural barriers. As a result, there is an urgent need for policies that promote equitable health care for these vulnerable populations in order to reduce financial and health-related disparities. 

Improving access to healthcare for vulnerable populations requires a multifaceted approach that considers both the individual and their environment. On a personal level, vulnerable populations require healthcare services and resources tailored to their specific needs and language. This may include providing bilingual doctors, providing health education and information that is culturally appropriate and relevant and offering mental health counseling and other support services that meet the needs of the communities. Additional attention should be paid to providing care to those with pre-existing conditions or chronic illnesses.  

On a broader level, governments should be encouraged to employ policies that expand access to healthcare services regardless of background or socioeconomic status. For example, governments can work with private health care providers to increase the availability of health care services in underserved areas, or provide targeted funding to improve access to care. It is also important to create policies that prioritize the prevention of illness especially non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure. These could include establishing a public health system for early detection and treatment of diseases, nutrition education, and other public health initiatives aimed at improving overall health. 

Equal access to health care requires comprehensive strategies to promote good health and safety. Policies should be developed that use a multidisciplinary approach. These policies should include strategies for healthcare providers to develop effective communication techniques with vulnerable populations; proactive screenings, treatments, and preventative services; and supporting communities with culturally competent training and resources. 

In January 2023, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, inaugurated the new Headquarters of the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) located at the African Village, south of Addis Ababa. During the inauguration ceremony, he mentioned that the African Union Commission and the Africa CDC along with RECs and Member States, having taking stock of the structural weaknesses that have characterized Africa’s health system, launched the New Health Order for Africa in 2021, which focused on strengthening public health institutions, public health personnel, manufacture of vaccines, action-oriented partnerships, and increasing national resources for health security. 

As a commitment from the African Renaissance we call upon our leaders in Africa to work towards making healthcare accessible for vulnerable populations. This accessibility is an essential part of promoting health equity. It requires relevant and culturally competent health care services and resources tailored to individual needs, as well as policies that improve access to care and prioritize prevention of disease. In order to ensure that vulnerable populations receive the best possible care, it is important to understand their unique needs, create effective strategies at both the individual and community level, and support government initiatives that foster health and wellness. 

GENDER EQUALITYSOCIAL PROTECTION

The Benefits of Africa’s Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) 

The Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) is a free trade agreement between three African Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the East African Community (EAC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). This agreement creates a free trade area between 29 African countries, covering about 60% of the continent’s population and combining their total gross domestic product (GDP). This is will bring together about 626 million customers (approximately 8 percent of the world’s population). 

From Monday, January 23rd to Tuesday, January 24th 2023, trade experts from seventeen countries under the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Agreement met in Nairobi, Kenya for the Tripartite Trade Negotiation Forum (TTNF). The experts reviewed progress made on various key issues needed to make the TFTA operational and unlock enhanced trade and investment opportunities. This is intended to benefit the 29 COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Member States. COMESA NEWS 

Policymakers ensured that the primary purpose of the agreement is to boost economic growth in the region and create a more competitive regional market. It aims to eliminate many of the trade barriers between these countries, such as tariffs, quotas and other restrictions on trade. This means that African countries will be able to take advantage of tariff-free trade, while businesses will be able to benefit from a wider variety of products. This could ultimately lead to more low-cost, high-quality products as well as improved living standards. 

The TFTA is expected to create jobs, increase income, and reduce poverty in the region. Increased trade and reduced trade barriers will lead to a larger flow of foreign direct investments into African countries. This can lead to the creation of new businesses and the expansion of existing ones, resulting in increased job opportunities and greater income for individuals. 

The TFTA also provides a unique opportunity for investment in technology and infrastructure development. By increasing competition between African countries, it may be possible to create an environment where smaller firms can access finance and resources more easily, thus making it easier for them to invest in innovation and technology. Furthermore, improved infrastructure will facilitate the smooth transportation of goods and services across African borders. This could ultimately lead to better economic growth and higher standards of living. 

Moreover, the TFTA will strengthen Africa’s relationship with other countries, creating an open and fair market for African exports. This could make the African market more attractive, resulting in increased foreign investments and access to global markets. This could result in more foreign currency entering the region, helping to strengthen and diversify African economies. 

As we prepare for the African Union (AU) Summit in happening in February 2023 at the AU Headquarters (HQ) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, let us keep in mind that the TFTA has the prospect of bringing numerous benefits to African countries. It can create jobs, increase income, reduce poverty, and encourage foreign direct investments. We as African Renaissance see the massive potential because it could improve infrastructure and technology and make African exports more attractive to foreign investors.  

We call upon the policymakers to remind our leaders as we meet at the AU HQ that we need to implement the TFTA. The TFTA will create an open and fair market that could significantly strengthen African economies. 

Translate »