Ambassador Mulonda attends conference on African Women's empowerment through science

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Early this week, Ambassador Palan Mulonda attended a conference titled "Effective African Women's Empowerment Through Science, Technology, Engineering And Mathematics (STEM)" at the World Bank Headquarters. He was accompanied by Firs Secretary (Trade), Mrs. Inonge Mwenya and First Secretary (Press), Ms. Patricia Littiya. The Conference was organised by the African Union Ambassadors Group, in conjunction with the World Bank and the Consortium of African Diasporas in the United States (CADUS). The Conference was also organised in line with the 2015 AU Summit theme, which was the Year of Women's Empowerment and Development towards Africa's Agenda 2063.

The main goal of the Conference was to help create a process that could ultimately lead to Africa producing more women scientists through various interventions such as identifying problems and solutions to challenges faced by women scientists, creating innovative partnerships with institutions across the world in order to encourage women to be innovators and to seek funding for post-doctoral jobs, among other things. The meeting drew participation of the African diplomatic corps, World Bank, African Union, African women entrepreneurs, academicians and civil society.

The Keynote speaker, Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo to the U.S, Her Excellency Faida Mitifu and Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps in the U.S, stated that quality education access for all girls was key in order to Africa to make progress towards achieving its Agenda 20163. She urged the meeting participants to make recommendations for practical initiatives and the development of a clear roadmap that can ensure a better future for African girls.

In making his intervention, Ambassador Mulonda stated that while as a Continent and in particularly in Zambia, campaigns for the girl child to go to school had been ongoing for a number of years, the emphasis on STEM for girls tended to be overlooked. He also stated that in order to effectively implement AU Agenda 2063, there was need to develop an increased cadre of STEM among girls and that more needed to be done to fight associated stereotypes.