Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA)

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On the 27th of February 2013 the AMwA launched her feminist research report on oil and gas An In-depth Research on Oil & Gas Extraction Industry in East Africa: An African Feminist Perspective. The Report that highlights women's participation and contribution to the Oil & Gas Sector was launched by the State Minister for Mineral Development Uganda, Hon. Peter Lokeris.

During her opening remarks, the Interim Executive Director, AMwA Dr. Maggie Kigozi who also seats on AMwA Board emphasized the need for civil society organizations to economically empower women in order to benefit from this sector. 

Indeed Extractive Industries have positive and negative effects and women and men experience these impacts differently. While highlighting key aspects of the Report Ms. Winifred Ngabirwe, Executive Director Global Rights Alert challenged stakeholders when she raised the following issues;

a)     Need for more research on why a small percentage of women are in EI

b)     The mining policies are not informed by all the sectors that include among other, women, project affected communities, and CSOs

c)      Not many Executives are in the mining industries  and there are no statistics available on the number of women in the sector, how do we ensure that all the segments of the society are represented and contribute effectively

d)     How have women participated in the formulation of laws and policies; who is at the table when  men are planning for social corporate responsibility

She further advisedCSOs and in particular AMwA on some of the areas of advocacy that included;

a)     Need for transparency and availability  of information

b)     Ensure the laws formulated on the sector are gender sensitive and implemented

c)      Lobby for the recognition of women as stakeholders in the sector

d)     Inclusion of women in all consultation processes  and social economic mappings

e)     Expand Dialogue

f)      Strengthen women's leadership capacities

g)     Monitoring and auditing of the sector

Her presentation was also strengthened by a presentation made by Ms. Irene Kagoya, Communications & Advocacy Officer AMwA who specifically focused on the legal frameworks on the sector from the East African Region, stating that we have very progressive laws however the problem that remains is the lack of implementation and or removal of structural barriers to gender equality

In commenting on the report in a Panel Discussion with the different stakeholders (Government CSOs and private Sector) the Commissioner Mr. Ernest Rubondo congratulated AMwA on this very unique report stating that it was balanced, and brings the East Africa Region into perspective. "It is realistic and highlights recommendations for everyone in the community to address." He further stated that Local administration have emphasized on women's participation especially their involvement in community meetings.  He emphasized the need to understand the value chain; he stressed that the sector employs women however their participation is still low. He thus called for more training, skills development and supporting those women who are already in the sector including those involved in doing casual jobs in the drilling communities.

Speaking on behalf of the private sector Mr. Kyalimpa Joseph from UMA shared UMA's programmes on skills development and their experience on affirmative action. These are programs designed to improve skills of local manufacturers. He also stressed the fact that the sector patterns with high institutions of learning especially to provide internship placements; and 30% of the interns should be women.

This was followed by a Q and A session that further enhanced the discussions on how to engage women in the oil and gas sectors ensure that women truly benefit from the sector.

Ms.Vivian B. Ngonzi then shared of highlights actions undertaken by AMwA in response to the research and proposed action steps moving that included the strengthening of women's leadership capacities through the African Women's Leadership Institute.

As the meeting drew to a close the Hon. Minister was invited to officially launch the report. In his remarks the Minister emphasized the need for skills development as he shared Uganda's commitment to enhancing citizen's skills in the industry.

 True the venture into the economic sphere of women's leadership has not been AMwA's strategic focus in past however as we continue to interface with the emerging social economic sphere, AMwA firmly believes that we need to support women's leadership through all the various sectors.

Prof. Maggie Kigozi, a Board Member of AMwA's International Executive Board joined AMwA on the 31st of October 2014 as the Interim Executive Director following the departure of Ms. Leah Chatta- Chipepa who had led the organization for 3 years.

Join us in welcoming Prof. Maggie at the AMwA secretariat. Prof. Maggie Kigozi, a renowned entrepreneur joins us with wealth of leadership expertise that we trust will lead the AMwA team during the transition as the AMwA Board embarks on recruiting a new Executive Director. In a communique from the Board President it was noted that; Professor Maggie will be assisting in recruiting an ED as well as ensuring that programmes continue to run.

It is on rare occasions that a Board Member will step in to support an institution in this regard; as such we are enthusiastic about this development as it truly demonstrates the Board's commitment to supporting the Organization.

In the same spirit as we welcome Prof. Maggie; we commend Ms. Leah Chatta-Chipepa for all the support offered to the organization during her tenure and wish her all the best in her new role in Zambia.

Four country teams from Nambia, Malawi, DRC and Botswana set off with determination to implement their action plans on feminist facilitation skills acquired from the June 2014 feminist facilitation workshop held in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Although each country team held the workshops under different themes; the trainings were hinged on the feminist leadership modules and each group had unique audience that they strategically identified.

DRC

The team from DRC (Arlette, Sylvie, and Benita) were the first to implement their action plan. The trio demonstrated great skills of leadership. They had the training well set out, with mentors in the space to enrich the learning, journalists from various media houses in Kinshasha who gave the training a wider coverage and publicity. They confidently and creatively facilitated the different sessions with great support from mentors. Like good learners they worked tirelessly to practice their skills in feminist facilitation, they communicated with a lot of passion, had great energizers built into the topics of discussion, group activities were used to help participants further interrogate some of the aspects of the Module. They engaged with participants and allowed them to speak for themselves and contribute to some of the debates. They were cognizant of the feminist space and gave everyone a chance to express themselves.