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Arusha host UN meeting on African women's participation in politics

ARUSHA, Tanzania, December 01 -- An expert group will meet in Arusha, Tanzania, 6-8 December under the auspices of the UN to discuss strategies to ensure greater participation of African women in politics.

The meeting is organised by the UN Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) in support of the goals of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), which promotes development in Africa through internal reform and support by development partners.

A statement by OSAA's Advocacy Consultant Laolu Akande said in New Wednesday, some 20 experts would be attending the meeting.

Expected speakers include Vice-President of Burundi's National Assembly Onasime Nduwimana, Executive Director of women's NGO, Femmes Africa Solidarite Bineta Diop, President of the University of Liberia Al-Hassan Conteh, and Secretary of SWAPO Women Council of Namibia Eunice Lipinge.

An Editor with the The Guardian newspaper of Nigeria, Gbemisola Olujobi and African broadcast producer, Janet Narh will also speak at the meeting.

Participants, including ministers, MPs, academicians and representatives of political parties, NGOs, the media and the UN system, will discuss issues such as identification of practical measures to promote the advancement of women, factors that facilitate the participation women in transitional new governments and assess women's participation in political decision-making.

The meeting will also consider ways to encourage the growth of women's independent organisations and the role of the media in fostering the inclusion of women in the democratic process.

OSAA acts as an advocate for NEPAD programmes and policies at the global level. One of NEPAD's objectives is the promotion of effective participation of women in political and socio-economic development.

Under its Democracy and Governance Initiative, it seeks to strengthen the principles of democracy, transparency and accountability and respect for the rule of law and human rights. - pana

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