WASHINGTON DC —
One of the young Zimbabwean entrepreneurs, who attended the just-ended global economic summit in Kenya, Thule Lenneiye, says she was impressed by United States President Barack Obama’s call for Africa to step up its efforts in ensuring that women have healthcare and education.
Mr. Obama made the call when he was speaking at the Africa Union Commission in Ethiopia on Monday.
Lenneiye says she was also touched by President Obama’s pledge to continue supporting young girls affected by HGIV/AIDS in 10 countries including Zimbabwe.
"My wish is for African Governments to offer more financial support to the Small and Medium Enterprise sector, especially those run by women to ensure that they flourish,"said Thule Lenneiye.
In his speech, the U.S. President also said his country would support women’s programmes that focused on sexual abuse and domestic violence.
" The single best indicator of whether a nation will succeed is how it treats its women. When women have health care and education, families are stronger, communities are more prosperous and nations are more successful." said President Obama in a wide ranging speech at the Africa Union Commission.
"If you want to empower more women America will be your partner. Let's work together to stop sexual assault and domestic violence. Let's make it clear we will not tolerate rape as a weapon of war - it is a crime and those who commit it must be punished,"President Obama added in his speech.
President Obama also called on Africa to prioritise the youth and women and suggested that this is an urgent task for African leaders.
"I suggest to you that the most urgent task facing Africa today and for the decades ahead is to create opportunity for this next generation," said President Obama.
Addressing the issue of democracy President Obama called on African leaders to relinquish power when their terms are over and not to cling to power. He said Africa's progress will depend on upholding the human rights of all people.
Lenneiye said one of the major highlights in President Obama's speech was his commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS in ten African including Zimbabwe. President Obama said more than 80% of new HIV cases in the hardest hit countries are teenage girls and that's a tragedy and it sets us back.
"So America is beginning a partnership with African countries - Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe - to keep teenage girls safe and Aids - free,"said President Obama in his speech.
Lenneiye said she hopes that African leaders will heed Mr. Obama’s remarks on women, education and related issues.