African Gender Forum and Award

Dakar, Senegal

10-12 December 2007


The largest regional women’s forum took place in Dakar, Senegal, on 10 and 11 December 2007. The African Gender Forum was organised by Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS), its Pan African Centre for Gender, Peace and Development, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Diasporan Touch, the governments of Spain and Italy and numerous other partners.

The theme of the 2007 African Gender Forum was ‘African Women and migration’. The Forum brought together women from all over the continent and the diaspora to discuss new strategies to mitigate and minimise the negative impact of migration on Africa’s development. Held at the conference centre of Cheikh Anta Diop University II, more than 200 participants, including more than 30 panellists, took part in 5 Forum sessions.

The Forum focused on key issues including:

- Migration and the changing role of women

- The economic dimension of migration

- Roles and responsibilities of governments

- Opportunities for the African diaspora

Several ministers, Heads of State and First Ladies participated in the Forum including the Vice President of Liberia, several Ministers, and the First Ladies of Senegal and Sierra Leone. Academics, experts and representatives from civil society and the private sector made presentations and interventions at the Forum. Among these were representatives from the International Organisation for Migration, the African Development Bank, the United Nations, the Graduate Institute of Development Studies in Switzerland, Université Mohamed V in Morocco, Africa Femmes Performantes, Diasporan Touch, the African Women Development Fund and the African Foundation for Development.

Conference Delegates at UCADII  
Delegates take their places in the main hall of UCADII (Photo: Marie du Pontavice)

Following the African Gender Forum, the African Gender Award ceremony was held on 12 December at the Daniel Sorano National Theatre in central Dakar. The 2007 African Gender Award was presented to Rwanda and its president, His Excellency Paul Kagame. Rwanda has made substantial gains in advancing the rights of Rwandan women.

Presidents Kagame and Wade with Award Selection Committee
President Kagame (centre left) and President Wade (centre right) with the Award Selection Committee (Photo: Aliou Mbaye, Panapress) 

The Award is given at the government level to recognise African governments that have demonstrated outstanding achievement in encouraging gender parity in politics. Since the 1994 genocide, Rwanda has distinguished itself on the continent for its integration of women in the country’s reconstruction process and in its fight against gender-based violence. Nearly half of the representatives in Rwanda’s National Parliament are women. This is the highest proportion of women representatives in government in the world.

The award ceremony also recognised the work of actors from the civil society and private sectors of Rwanda. The women’s network Pro Femmes/Twese Hamwe received a recognition for its exceptional work in civil society. The Banque Populaire pour la Promotion de la Femmes received the private sector recognition for its work supporting Rwandan women who own small and medium-sized businesses.

Click here to visit the webpage of the African Gender Forum and Award.

For more information on the 2007 African Gender Forum and Award, click on the links below:

Recommendations of the Forum » PDF

Press Release 8 December 2007 » PDF

Communiqué de Presse 8 décembre 2007 » PDF

List of Forum Speakers » PDF

List of Forum Participants » PDF

List of Forum and Award Partners » PDF

Janet Narh, Olumide Ajayi, Bineta Diop, Violaine Beix
From left to right: Janet Narh, BenTV, Olumide Ajayi, Africa Leadership Forum, Bineta Diop, Executive Director of FAS, and Violaine Beix, Research Officer at FAS, finalise the Recommendations of the Forum (Photo: Marie du Pontavice)