13 Dec 2013 10:40am
WINDHOEK, 13 DEC (NAMPA) - The former president of the Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA), Namibian First Lady Penehupifo Pohamba says the organisation attained some significant achievements under her leadership.
Pohamba, who served as OAFLA president from July 2011 to July this year, handed over the OAFLA office in October 2013 to her successor Deby Itno, Chads First Lady.
The OAFLA head office is located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Addressing members of the media on her achievements as OAFLA president in the capital on Thursday, Pohamba noted that she mobilised over N.dollars 8 776 883 through fundraising events held locally and at OAFLA level, along with other First Ladies.
These funds were raised for OAFLA and the OAFLA Local Chapter, a Prevention of Mother-To-Child-Transmission (PMTCT) campaign, a project involving the construction of maternal shelters, and for the Organisation for the Empowerment of Widows/Widowers and Orphans of HIV and AIDS in Namibia (OEWONA).
The Namibian First Lady also mobilised financial assistance from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in the amount of over US.dollars 400 000 (about N.dollars 4,1 million), which was disbursed to member states for PMTCT campaigns.
Pohamba said the Member States have worked tirelessly in the areas of PMTCT and maternal and child health.
Over 17 OAFLA member states, representing four African regions, received these funds, and have been able to carry out their programmes accordingly.
Speaking about the developing of new partnerships, Pohamba said relationships were, amongst others, formed with the All-China Womens Federation; Trachurus Fishing Company; the World Bank; the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF); the World Health Organisation (WHO); the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef); and United Nations (UN) Women.
UN Women is dedicated to gender equality, and the empowerment of women.
OAFLA also formed partnerships with the World Food Programme, African Medical and Research Foundation, the European Union (EU), and many more.
Pohamba noted that during her reign, OAFLA signed agreements with IPPF and the UNAIDS Independent High-Level Task Force, saying OAFLA is about to complete the process of formalising its relationship with the AU.
The Namibian First Lady also received a number of awards, amongst them the Ambassador of Peace award presented to her by the Universal Peace Federation in July 2012.
The other important and unique award was the Global Inspirational Leadership Award 2013 for women leaders of Africa-Middle East-Asia.
Pohamba said developing a communication strategy for the OAFLA was crucial in order for the organisation to move forward.
There is a language barrier in OAFLA, but this was partly removed as all staff members on the permanent secretariat have at least a good command of English and French languages.
This made the translation of documents from French and English possible.
She said communication has also been improved through the development of an OAFLA directory and an active and updated website, which enables regular communication between Member States and the Secretariat Office.
Documents are translated into both languages, and OAFLA has also started making use of social media networks to create awareness.
Furthermore, there has been a dramatic increase in membership, as well as an improvement in the attendance and participation of First Ladies and their technical advisors in OAFLA meetings.
Established 10 years ago, OAFLA is aimed at advocating for the mobilisation of awareness and resources, as well as the development of leadership, policies, strategies and actions to fight HIV/AIDS at national, regional and global level.
A total of 37 member states are represented by African First Ladies in OAFLA.