The Connected Africa Girls Coding Camp returns this year for its fifth edition, commissioned by ECA in association with the Government of the Republic of Namibia, UN Namibia, UN WOMEN and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
The hybrid training is aimed at young African women and girls between the ages of 12 and 25, with 100 from Namibia physically attending, while more than 2,000 are expected to join virtually from across the African continent.
Given the growing global influence of technology in driving sustainable growth and development, strengthening the ICT sector is socially and economically relevant for Africa.
According to the 2021 ITU report, gender remains a disparity factor globally, with 62% of men using the internet compared to 57% of women.
In Africa, where we see the largest digital gender gap in the world, only 24% of women use the internet compared to 35% of men.
Thus, the participation of African women continues to indicate significant gaps within science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) disciplines.
This limited access creates barriers for young women and girls to reap the benefits of the Internet and increase their academic and professional participation, especially in technology-based fields.
The African Connected Girls initiative strives to bridge this digital divide by empowering young African women and girls with the foundational skills needed to find long-term success in education, employment and entrepreneurship, while creating an enabling environment.
conducive to collaborative efforts.
Namibia's Connected African Girls Coding Camp will feature four main workshops on animation, web and game development, IoT and robotics, and 3D printing.
Graphic Design is included as a common online course with Artificial Intelligence, Design Thinking, and Computational Thinking.
This camp will also feature master classes on gender-based violence, the UN SDGs and Agenda 2063, including personal development skills.
On the last day of the camp, an innovation fair will be organized that will allow the girls to showcase their projects developed during the coding camp by focusing on solution-oriented ideas in response to the socio-economic challenges of the continent.
In the last four editions of the coding camp, participants have developed 198 innovative projects, of which 40 were recognized for their contributions to the community.
The registration page can be accessed through the following link.
The deadline to register is August 15, 2022 at 17:59 EAT.
Super Falcons of Nigeria forward, Monday Gift, scored a spectacular goal to help FC Robo Queens of Lagos booked a place in the next round of the 2022 Aiteo Cup competition after a 2-0 victory over Edo Queens of Benin.
Gift scored the goal with just few seconds into the match to draw applause from the spectators at the Kwara Stadium Complex, Ilorin, on Thursday.
The Lagos based side got the match underway and had one of its defenders sent a long ball towards Gift who wasted no time and spinned the ball over incoming Edo Queens goalkeeper.
The Super Falcons player was a star to watch as she lord her experience on the match helping FC Robo to keep possession for most part of the encounter.
Taiwo Lawal scored the other goal in the 35th minute in a superb way to put the game beyond Edo Queens and zoomed to the quarter finals of the competition.
ROUND OF 16 RESULTS (WOMEN) Bayelsa Queens 3 Niger Amazons 0 Abruka Queens 1 Abia Angels 3 Naija Ratels 0 Nasarawa Amazons 1 Immaculate Queens 0 Confluence Queens 8 Honey Badgers 0 Delta Queens 2 Heartland Queens 2 Dannaz Ladies 1 Osun Babes 2 Royal Queens 3 Edo Queens 0 FC Robo Queens 2.
An oriental derby is on the cards in the 2022 Aiteo Federation Cup as Rangers square up against Heartland in one of the competition’s Round of 32 Men’s fixtures.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Rangers International FC, Enugu versus Heartland FC, Owerri game will hold on Aug. 3 at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.
Kickoff is 4.00 p.
Rangers have the bragging over their rival going into the derby clash, after handing Heartland a back-to-back defeat at the just-concluded Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
The Flying Antelopes are looking for redemption after their push for a continental ticket in the NPFL failed to see the light of the day.
They will therefore take this game as a make-or-break affair, as they intend to end their campaign with a trophy in their cabinet.
NAN also reports that Rangers last won the oldest club competition in the country in 2018. In another round of 32 fixtures, two NPFL giants are set to clash as Niger Tornadoes brace up against Enyimba International of Aba in Ijebu Ode. The Ikon Allah Boys do battle against the Elephants, the most successful team in the NPFL in what promises to be a cracking game.
However, on recent form, Niger Tornadoes will feel they can nick this one after holding Enyimba to a 1-1 draw in Aba, before edging the reverse fixture at home 2-1 in the 20212022 NPFL season.
ROUND OF 32 FIXTURES (MEN) Bayelsa United Vs Green Beret– Enugu – (030822) – 2 00 p.
m. Enyimba International Vs Niger Tornadoes– Ijebu-Ode – (030822) – 4.00 p.
m. Doma United Vs Lobi Stars– Jos – (030822) – 4.00 p.
m. Akure City Academy Vs Bendel Insurance Feeders– Nnewi – (030822) – 4.00 p.
m. Rangers Int’l Vs Heartland FC– Benin City – (030822) – 4.00 p.
m. Sunshine Stars Vs Rovers FC– Aba – (030822) – 4.00 p.
m. Cynosure FC Vs Katsina United– Makurdi – (030822) – 4.00 p.
m. Remo Stars Vs Akwa United– Enugu – (030822) – 4.00 p.
m. Kogi United Vs Kanta United– Minna – (030822) – 4.00 p.
m. DMD FC Vs Housing Corporation – Abuja – (030822) – 4.00 p.
m. Zamfara United Vs Kano Pillars – Kaduna – (030822) – 2.00 p.
m. Fulfill FC Vs El-Kanemi Warriors– Gombe – (030822) – 4.00 p.
m. Kwara United Vs Wikki Tourists– Abuja – (030822) – 4pm Bendel Insurance Vs Ottasolo FC– Ilorin – (030822) – 4.00 p.
m. Sokoto United Vs Nasarawa United– Kaduna – (030822) – 4.00 p.
Dakkada FC already qualified for Round of 16 ROUND OF 16 FIXTURES (WOMEN) Bayelsa Queens Vs Niger Amazons – 040822 – 4.00 p.
m. (Venue TBD) Abruka Queens Vs Abia Angels – Benin City – 040822 – 4 00 p.
m. Naija Ratels Vs Nasarawa Amazons – Jos – 040822 – 4.00 p.
m. Immaculate Queens Vs Confluence Queens – Makurdi – 040822 – 4.00 p.
m. Honey Badgers Vs Delta Queens – Owerri – 040822 – 4.00 p.
m. Heartland Queens Vs Dannaz Ladies – Warri – 040822 – 4.00 p.
m. Osun Babes Vs Royal Queens – Abuja – 040822 – 4.00 p.
m. Edo Queens Vs Awka Robo Queens – 040822 – 4.00 p.
m. (Venue TBD).
The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN WOMEN) launched its Strategic Note for the period 2022-2025 at a high-level event held at the Sheraton Hotel in Kampala.
The purpose of the launch was to raise awareness of the new UN Women Strategy Note and the work in Uganda, to provide space for existing government partners, development partners, the private sector and civil society to engage with the Strategy Note and guarantee your purchase. and attract new donors and potential partners for the achievement of the priority areas.
The plan is aligned with the Guidance of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF), the National Development Plan III and establishes six specific results that the Country Office will work on in the next 4 years, which include ;
1. Inclusive and accountable governance and women's access to justice
2. Women's rights, peace and security with a gender perspective
3. Women have increased productivity, income and access to resources
4. Vulnerable women have the capacity to mitigate and adapt to climate change and disaster reduction
5. Women and girls enjoy quality basic social and protection services
6. Gender equality and women's rights fulfilled in a culturally responsive environment
The Strategy Note was launched by the Minister of State in charge of Gender and Culture, Honorable Peace Mutuzo, who commended UN Women for the achievements made during the previous cycle of the Strategy Note.
“As a country, we have made tremendous progress in empowering women and tackling gender inequality, such as increasing women in key positions in government with 34% representation in parliament, to having a female vice president, president of the parliament and prime minister.
“Through government programs such as the youth livelihood program and the parish development model, the government aims to promote women's empowerment and address gender inequality.
We also intend to involve women in the planning and implementation of programs that will generate economic prosperity,” he added.
Hon Peace concluded by acknowledging UN Women and all development partners including the Government of Sweden, the Government of Norway, the Government of Austria and the European Union for core financial support and partnership in addressing gender issues in the country. .
“We are proud to be a central UN partner in advancing gender equality and women's empowerment in Uganda,” said Swedish Ambassador to Uganda HE Maria Håkansson.
She further mentioned that the achievements obtained with the support of the Government of Sweden can be seen and felt, "and we congratulate UN Women and we warmly congratulate the entire team for launching this important plan."
The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Uganda, HE Susan Namondo, noted that Uganda has made significant progress in empowering women, including the current Ugandan cabinet, which has 46% female representation, but denounced the persistent existence of violence against women.
“We cannot achieve the sustainable development we dream of without the empowerment of women. Advancing women's empowerment has been a catalyst for the UN to advance its mandate and the elimination of gender-based violence is a key flagship area in the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework," she said. .
The launch provided an opportunity for in-depth discussions on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on progress made regarding women's empowerment and gender inequality and it was agreed that the pandemic exacerbated the challenges.
“Globally, there are 24% more women between the ages of 25 and 35 living in total poverty than men due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Sarah Hendrik, Director of the Policy, Program and Intergovernmental Division. of UN Women.
The Strategy Note was developed in consultation with a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including the United Nations, government, development partners, the private sector, academia, research agencies, and civil society organizations. It will allow the country office to consolidate the achievements of the last cycle (2016-2021), while improving and addressing emerging challenges in Uganda, such as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on gender equality and women's empowerment. women.
Ms. Ali Maka wins the opportunity for a two-month photography internship with UN Women Uganda by winning the photo contest.
At the same event, Ms. Ali Maka received a two-month internship opportunity at UN Women in Uganda for emerging as the best in a photo contest organized under the theme "We Empower" that describes the ways in which women women are making use of opportunities to empower themselves and other women.
Her photo showed a female community leader who was caught and couldn't make it to a meeting on time. To meet that challenge, she rode a motorcycle to the meeting place, an act that is not common in Uganda and she took everyone in attendance by surprise.
This caught Maka's eye, and she requested to take a photo of the lady, and as they say, the rest is history.
Maka won a photography internship at UN Women and will have the opportunity to showcase her skills and contribute to the country office communications department with photos that tell the human story and amplify UN Women's work on the ground to promote equality. gender and empowerment of women.
It aims to leverage private investments to support renewable energy-based projects to achieve the SDGs in Zimbabwe.PARIS, France, January 13, 2022 / APO Group / -
The United Nations SDG Fund has approved Zimbabwe's USD 45 million program to catalyze investments in renewable energy (RE) to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the country. The UN SDG Fund is contributing USD 10 million to the program, while the Government of Zimbabwe through the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) and local partners, including Old Mutual Investment Group (OMIG), Zimnat Asset Management and CABS, are supporting the program with a total of USD 35 million.
The 4-year program, which is expected to start in April 2022, was jointly developed by UNESCO (lead agency), UN WOMEN, UNDP and the Government of Zimbabwe. It aims to leverage private investments to support renewable energy-based projects to achieve the SDGs in Zimbabwe. This program will innovatively target Sustainable Development Goals 5, 7, 8, 9, 13 and 17, while leveraging the cross-cutting nature of these goals to achieve the rest of the SDGs. The program will also contribute to the achievement of a number of key national priorities of the Government of Zimbabwe, as detailed in the National Development Strategy (NDS 1) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF 2022-2026 ), by working towards national goals on economic development, access to energy, climate action, empowerment of women and youth, and capacity building in RE for productive uses.
The main intervention of the program focuses on the establishment of an innovative, inclusive and gender-sensitive Renewable Energy Fund (REF) that aims to take advantage of the private sector and financial markets to finance RE projects that have a return on investment. and at the same time achieve a social impact for acceleration. of achieving the SDGs in Zimbabwe. Therefore, the joint program will carry out a large-scale demonstration of the concept of REF instruments that drive an innovative model of Accelerated Local Achievement of the SDGs and the economic empowerment of communities through the transformative impact of technology introduction. of RE with new opportunities for entrepreneurship, income and job creation. , and improvement of the quality of life and the environment. In order to address capacity gaps in the pre-investment, investment and post-investment stages, UN partner organizations through the JP will leverage partnerships with international RE capacity building organizations and local money markets to increase access to financing by SMEs. By focusing not only on investing in projects, but also developing technically skilled workforce in STEM, RE and ICT fields, the program will have a long-term impact to increase ER adoption in the country.
The active participation of the United Nations system and the Old Mutual Investment Group will provide credibility and a 'halo effect', thus providing a broader stage and audience for the Fund's activities. The Fund is expected to unlock more than USD 30 million from Zimbabwean financial markets and regional and international development focus entities, most of which would not otherwise normally go to financing renewable energy.
Nigerian filmmaker Mo Abudu has been recognized by Forbes as one of the most powerful women in 2021.
The media mogul and philanthropist, who said she was very excited, took to the Instagram page @moabudu to announce the great achievement to her fans and supporters.
According to her, she is very honored and deeply grateful to be among the most amazing women in the world.
"Good morning beautiful people.
“Yesterday I woke up to the incredible news that I have been included in the annual list of THE 100 MOST POWERFUL WOMEN IN THE WORLD BY FORBES at no. 98.
Forbes published its 18th annual list on December 7, 2021, reported by Nicolette Jones and Erika Burho. Edited by Moira Forbes and Maggie McGrath.
“I am honored and deeply grateful to be among some of the most amazing women in the world, including MacKenzie Scott (# 1), novelist, philanthropist, and America's third richest woman, and Christine Lagarde (# 1). 3), President of the European Central Bank.
Women of color on the list include Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris (# 2) and Oprah Winfrey, making their umpteenth appearance on this list.
“There are only three African women on the list: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General of the WTO (No. 91), Samia Suluhu Hassan, current President of Tanzania (No. 94),
"And yours really - I
I quote Forbes: "Nigerian media mogul Mo Abudu is one of the most powerful women in the world's media."
"A dear friend told me today when she heard this news" imagine if your child had known where you were going.
“Once again, I didn't see it coming. Simply thanking God for these global opportunities and doing our best to continue to grow the EBONYLIFE brand around the world.
“Also creating first-class value and opportunities for each of the stakeholders we partner with and work with.
“My wish is that in the years to come there will be many more of my deserving African sisters on this list.
Below is the link to click on the full report:
https://www.forbes.com/power-women/#13636b105e25, ”she wrote.
The eighteenth annual list of the '100 Most Powerful Women of 2021' that was published by Forbes, placed Abudu at number 98, thus describing her as one of the most powerful women in global media.
She has also been described by Forbes as "the most successful woman in Africa" and rated one of the "25 most powerful women on world television" by The Hollywood Reporter.
The 58-year-old is a media mogul, philanthropist, and founder of EbonyLife Films, which has produced several successful films including "The Wedding Party," "Fifty, Chief Daddy," "Your Excellency," "The Royal Hibiscus Hotel and Oloture ". among others.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the first woman and the first African to hold the post of Director-General of the World Trade Organization, ranked 91st on the list in the Politics and Politics category.
Forbes described her as "an economist and international development professional with more than 30 years of experience working in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America."
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday expressed his solidarity with Nigerian women as they celebrate 16 days of activism against gender-based violence from November 25 to December 10, 2021.
Femi Adesina, the president's press aide, said in a statement issued in Abuja that the president expressed solidarity when he received the Minister of Women's Affairs, Pauline Tallen, who visited him.
“Women are the cornerstone of society and are largely responsible for stabilizing the home front.
“My faith in the capabilities of Nigerian women remains strong, as exemplified by the key positions they occupy in the current administration.
"I assure you that I will always be here for you and that you can count on my support in your activities," Adesina said, quoting President Buhari.
The minister had informed President Buhari about various enlightenment activities of her ministry towards the international campaign.
She explained that the 16-day activism has as its theme "Orange the World: END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN NOW!"
It began on November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and would continue until Friday, December 10, World Human Rights Day.
Ms. Tallen presented the President with commemorative items to mark her identification with Nigerian women.
By Nabilu Balarabe
The Yobe Ministry of Women Affairs said that no fewer than 1,000 women had benefitted from various skills acquisition trainings it organised in collaboration with development partners.
The development partners include UNFPA, UN WOMEN, National Centre for Women Development (NCWD) and National Directorate for Employment (NDE).
Mr Tonga Betera, Permanent Secretary of the ministry, disclosed this in Damaturu at a ministerial briefing marking Gov Mai Mala-Buni’s two years in office on Tuesday.
He said that the women were trained in business skills, face mask and hand sanitiser production, soap and body lotion making, among others.
Betera said that some of the trainees received cash support of N10,000 each, while others got resettlement tools including sewing machines, power generators and hair dryers.
The permanent secretary said that all the beneficiaries of the training were expected to go back to their respective towns and villages to teach others what they learnt.
He said that a set of over 3,000 women in Damaturu, Potiskum, Nguru and Karasuwa benefitted from food items as ‘palliatives’ during the 2021 Ramadan.
Betera also said another set of 1,780 women were registered under the state’s Goat Breeding Empowerment Scheme, adding that 890 of the women had so far received three goats each.
He announced that the state in collaboration with Multi-Sectoral Crises and Recovery Programme (MCRP) of the Federal Government would soon establish a Girl Child Training Centre in Damaturu.
He listed other achievements to include renovation and upgrading of Safe Space for women in Damaturu and Kukareta.
He added sponsoring of media programmes on girl child education and tackling gender-based violence.
Betera said that all the achievements were recorded from 2019 to 202.(NAN
As more and more women at the forefront of the sports industry, Rugby Africa (www.RugbyAfrique.com) has positioned itself to continue to drive women's involvement in the game, including leadership, by announcing on the occasion of International Women's Day the first two recipients of 2021 in Africa. Scholarships for executive leadership of women.
This incredible opportunity allows two women from Africa to join the ten remaining women from around the world, who will each receive a scholarship of £ 10,000 for leadership development support for formal or informal education, conferences, forums, mentoring and study tours on best practices. Each scholarship will be tailored to meet the professional development needs of successful applicants.
The scholarships are open to women who:
Are currently involved in rugby at the governance level (member of the Union / regional board of directors) or,
Are currently involved in rugby at the senior management level (reporting to CEO at third level and above)
Have the potential to be involved
PASSIONATE FOR WOMEN IN RUGBY
With all eyes on the award and having carved out a reputation for local rugby in their respective countries, recipients Peris Mukoko from Kenya and Abigail Mnikwa from Zimbabwe proudly display their flags when it comes to women leaders in the sport.
Passionate about promoting young women in rugby, Mukoko has all the assets to lead this initiative. Currently board member of Kenya Rugby Union, Certified World Rugby educator (first female in Kenya and third in Africa), Rugby Africa Unstoppable Campaign Ambassador (2020), active level 2 rugby referee (since 2008 ), and recently co-opted into the Rugby Africa Referees Committee as a representative of the Interim Referees Association, Mukoko is ready to take her knowledge and leadership skills to the next level.
“I am delighted to be accepted on this prestigious scholarship. This scholarship will definitely help me develop my skills as a mentor, as well as my project management skills. Leading the proposed program, for young girls, will be a challenge for me, but it will allow me to grow as an administrator in the game of rugby and as a person. I hope to gain a better understanding of grassroots rugby in Kenya while traveling, as the proposed program is intended to take place outside of Nairobi, ”said Mukoko.
Equally talented and experienced, Mnikwa has worked with the Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) for the past 14 years as a physiotherapist and sports administrator. Sitting on the Zimbabwe Rugby Union Board of Directors, Mnikwa is also President of Zimbabwe Women's Rugby, chairs the ZRU Covid-19 Rescue Committee and is a World Rugby medical trainer.
Recently, Mnikwa was appointed to Rugby Africa's Women's Rugby Advisory Sub-Committee for Leadership, Training and Conferencing.
“It is an honor to be accepted and recognized by Rugby Africa. I am really touched by this recognition. With my main goal of continuing to raise the bar for women in rugby and amplify the medical brotherhood of rugby, I am determined to use this scholarship to sharpen my skills and understanding so that I can move the dial in my areas of focus. goals, '' Mnikwa said.
RUGBY AFRICA WOMEN'S EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP SCHOLARSHIP 2021 DESIGNED TO MAKE WOMEN IN RUGBY SUCCESSFUL
Wishing the two women good luck, the Chair of the Women's Rugby Advisory Committee, Paula Lanco, said she was delighted that African women are rising to the challenge of becoming leaders, on and off the pitch.
“Rugby is a sport, not a genre”. As such, my vision is to see African rugby women compete against each other on the world stage. The Rugby Africa Women's Executive Leadership Fellowships 2021 are a valuable tool for our women to advance and progress in rugby. Peris and Abigail have started a journey that will only catapult them into the brotherhood.
Congratulating the women on their acceptance, 2019 Rugby Africa Executive Leadership Fellowship recipient for Women and Chair of the Women's Rugby Advisory Board Leadership and Training Subcommittee, Regina Lunyolo, said the scholarship benefits would exceed the expectations of the two women.
“The scholarship program is a fantastic way to empower the current generation and the next generation of world rugby leaders. Women sharing the space with their male counterparts will not be a differentiator, but rather as a top professional who shares the same passions for the game. ''
Women's Rugby Africa director Maha Zaoui shared similar sentiments, noting that the scholarships were indeed a stimulus.
`` A former recipient of the 2018 Rugby Africa Women's Executive Leadership Fellowship myself, I have grown in areas I never imagined. It laid the foundation for my success to date and my ability to change women's rugby. Thanks to this scholarship, I entered the MEMOS program, which is an Executive Masters of Sport Organizations (Management), managed by the International Olympic Committee. Peris and Abigail are on a good trajectory.
NAW: Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej, is truly a force of nature and one of Africa’s unsung ‘sheroes’ of women’s empowerment and health advocates. Here at the NAW, we will be right behind this inspirational woman, all the way; SENATE APPOINTMENT in December 2020: Dr Rasha Kelej appointed as a Senator, member of the Egyptian Senate (2020-2025) by President of Egypt, H.E. Mr. ABDEL FATTAH AL-SISI.
Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and Member of Egyptian Senate (2020-2025) has been named one of the most influential African women in the world for 2020, for the third time. She has been nominated this year as the “African Woman of the Year 2020” by the New African Woman Magazine UK, and most influential African woman 2020, by Avance Media, for her efforts to advocate for women empowerment and healthcare capacity building especially during these challenging times of Coronavirus pandemic. Senator Dr. Kelej has been previously recognized as One of 100 Most Influential Africans – 2019 by New African Magazine in UK for creating historic campaign “Merck More than a Mother” to break stigma around infertile and childless women in Africa and beyond.
Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej is PROLIFIC WOMEN AND HEALTH RIGHTS CAMPAIGNER:
Dr Rasha Kelej, the CEO of the Merck Foundation, is the brain behind the inspiring ‘More Than A Mother’ campaign - rallying call against female infertility stigma – for which she was recognized as one of the Most Inﬂuential Africans of 2019. The campaign, one of the most successful causes that have been taken forward by Merck Foundation, empowers childless and infertile women through access to information, health, change of mindset, and economic empowerment. More than 18 First Ladies rallied behind the campaign as ambassadors of Merck more than a Mother campaign, which is very impressive.
Some of Its and innovative initiatives include: Health Media Training, Media Recognition Awards, Fashion Awards, and Film Awards. Dr Kelej has also worked closely with local artists to develop local songs to break the stigma of infertility in their communities. More than 18 songs have been developed so far.
But that’s not all! Dr Kelej has in her capacity as CEO of Merck Foundation, also developed many other impactful programs such as the Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative (MFFLI), Merck Capacity Advancement Program, Merck Cancer Access Program, Merck Foundation Diabetes Blue Points Program, and Merck STEM for women and youth. These programs are focused on building healthcare capacity and improving access to health and empowering women and girls through education in Africa and other developing countries.
In a challenging year that was 2020, Dr Kelej remained steadfast in her work, and led the Merck Foundation COVID -19 response in Africa in partnership with 18 African First Ladies and Miniseries of health, education and media and communication of more than 45 countries, with focus on four major areas: community support; online education for health-care providers in six diﬀerent ﬁelds (diabetes, cardiovascular, sexual and reproductive health, endocrinology, respiratory and acute medicines); community awareness through “Stay at Home“ Media Recognition Awards; and community awareness through a children’s storybook The Right Choice.
Transforming Public healthcare sector and TRAINING DOCTORS:
In the midst of the pandemic, Senator Dr Rasha Kelej has also spearheaded an online training of more than 600 doctors from 25 African countries and 10 developing countries in Asia and Latin America – an important impact in a challenging time.
It has been more important than ever to build capacity and training of specialized doctors. In some of these countries, they have never had not even one oncologist, for example. They may have the general practitioner, but they don't have specialized doctors, they simply made history in these countries such as The Gambia, Burundi, Guinea & Liberia.
During this diﬃcult period, we have therefore provided a one year online Diploma and two year master degree in Respiratory Medicine, Acute Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes & Cardiovascular health and Sexual & Reproductive health,” she explains.
“Our strategy and our program have been crystal clear - to invest in professional healthcare capacity building through providing scholarship for health care providers. And helping train skilled doctors in the midst of this pandemic, has made a big diﬀerence,” she adds.
In the meantime, Dr. Kelej also produced and directed an inspiring pan- African song called My White Army’ as her personal contribution to thank the doctors and nurses ﬁghting on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle. The song, featuring singers from 11 African countries in three languages Arabic, English, and French has been received to high acclaim across the continent.
In December 2020, Dr Rasha was among 100 Egyptian experts appointed to the Senate House by President of Egypt, H.E. Mr. Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. She will be one of the advisers on economic, social and health development and partnership between Egypt and the rest of Africa.
How does she do it all?
“I think one of the most important factors that keeps the Merck Foundation strong and continuing with our programs even during this pandemic is that we establish very strong partnerships, and trust levels with our partners. And this has been the case long before COVID-19,” she says adding: “On a personal level, I can say that I transform under pressure, no matter the challenge. That is just my personality. I don't break, I transform and I have this work/life fusion, in which my life and work are totally fused. With any challenge I face, I just keep the same energy levels. I transform to a diﬀerent shape and mode. And for me, new challenges give me an opportunity to be innovative and be different. COVID-19 was unexpected and unpredicted, but it helped us to transform to a stronger mode and prepare ourselves to be innovative out of our comfort zone.”
As we enter into an uncertain 2021, Dr Kelej remains characteristically optimistic and hopeful, as she looks forward to breaking new ground. “I'm very optimistic. And with my new position in the Egyptian Senate and what great job our President El- Sisi is doing for Egypt and Africa , I am hopeful that, while I continue with my work, I can utilize and capitalize on this opportunity of doing my job successfully as CEO of Merck Foundation and as a Senator and continued making an impact. There are lots of opportunities for bringing the Egyptian and rest of African youth together for achieving the sustainable development goals of our beautiful African continent, and I want to explore these opportunities with them, this coming year.”
“I am honored to be nominated the African Woman of the year 2020 by New African Woman Magazine, UK to acknowledge my efforts and dedication to advocate for women empowerment and healthcare capacity building specially during these challenging times of Coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to those who believed in me. I am also very honored to be appointed by The President of Egypt, H.E. Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, as a member of Egyptian Senate ( 2020-2025) to help strengthening collaboration and partnership between Egypt and rest of Africa with the aim to continue our contribution to the social , economic and health development of our beautiful continent. Moreover, I will continue my mission to empower other women and improve access to equitable and quality healthcare in Africa and developing countries. It is my personal commitment”, said Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej CEO of Merck Foundation, Member of Egyptian Senate ( 2020-2025), Most Influential African (2019& 2020) and African Woman of The Year 2020.
The New African Woman (NAW) has listed 30 strong African women as Women of the Year 2020, chosen from various career backgrounds. The list includes many famous names like; Amina J. Mohamed: Deputy Secretary-General At United Nations; Fadji Maina: Earth scientist at NASA; Bozoma Saint John: Global Chief Marketing Officer of Netflix; Michaela Coel: Producer, Actor, Director; Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, amongst others.