By Vision Reporter
President Yoweri Museveni has said the African Queens and Women Cultural Leaders network has absolved cultural institutions in Africa from being parochial and called on them to be forward looking to strengthen Africa integration.
The President was evening closing the African Queen and Women Cultural leaders conference at Karukuzi Place-Tooro Kingdom in Fort-portal. The three day conference was held under the theme, `African queens and cultural leaders, a vehicle for social and economic empowerment of rural women and youth in Africa-looking beyond 2015, ‘the future we want’.
AQWCLN conference brought together over 40 Queens, Queen Mothers and other women cultural leaders from 16 countries and was funded by African Union and the UN.
Museveni urged the women cultural leaders from all over Africa to consider the aspect of economic transformation for them to be able to sustain other social programs like education of the girl child and discouraging early marriages among others.
“Therefore as you talk about social programs, you must also talk about economic transformation so that you can have money to manage social programs sustainably. You can get money from the UN and the AU but like the saying goes, what is not yours you cant eat to your full because the owner can come for it. Self sufficieny is the best. People can help you but there is a limit to what they can do,” he said.
He noted that by promoting Industrialization, services, modern agriculture and Information and Communication Technology among others, they will be able to get money and create jobs for the population that includes children.
He added that programs such as promoting education of the girl child, discouraging early marriages and maternal health, are among the programs of the NRM government adding that any additional support from AQWCLN will be crucial and welcome. The President said that one of the reasons for the integration of East Africa is to create a market demand saying that this is crucial for the people of the region.
Museveni commended AQWCLN for organizing the conference which at the same time promotes Pan-Africanism.
The Queen Mother Best Kemigisha who is the co-host of the programme hailed the President for the love he has for the African woman and called on all African Queens to step-up efforts to ensure that the girl child can achieve both social and economic emancipation.
The Nabagereka of Buganda Sylvia Nagginda who is the Chairperson of the network and co-host said that coming to work together for the same good is something to celebrate about. She saluted President Museveni for supporting their cause.