By Kyambadde Robinah Salinge, YWCA Rwanda
The 22nd African Union Summit, with the theme Agriculture and Food Security, could not have come at a better time than this. African leaders and civil society organizations are meeting to reaffirm their commitment to food security and adopting new measures to save millions who face imminent danger. Agriculture is Africa’s backbone and contributes over 70% of the GDP in many countries.
Famine is not a new phenomenon and is as old as recorded history and has adversely affected much of Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the giant strides that have been taken to “arrest” the situation, famine has remained elusive.
With the emergence of new threats like climate change, now is the time to take decisive action.
The most challenging aspect has been to find the pathways to use to divert such a catastrophe. As a young leader from Rwanda, I believe that in order for the world to achieve food security, we need a holistic approach that includes both government and civil society organizations. I am proud to be the voice of those women who could not be able to be here and upon my return to Rwanda, I will be able to implement and share my experiences with thousands of young women.
I envision a world where women are economically empowered and for this to take place, women should be given the means.
Trainings on modern agricultural practices would go a long way in making them self-reliant. Provision of pest resistant seeds to vulnerable communities would also be a step in the right direction. Land reform programs that address the existing unfair distribution of land are needed so that women are brought on board. Such measures that promote food security will make it easy for the implementation of other programs that are related to sexual and reproductive health of women.
I applaud African governments, World YWCA, YWCA Rwanda and other stakeholders for the existing partnership in a bid to promote food security in Africa.
My name is Kyambadde Robinah Salinge. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences and I am completing my Master’s degree in International Relations at Mount Kenya University Kigali-Campus. I am the Project Manager of SRHR project at YWCA Rwanda. I am privileged and honoured to be attending the 22nd African Union Summit, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Great thanks goes to World YWCA and YWCA Rwanda who have made it possible for me to be at the AU Summit, where I have got the chance of sharing more about the problems my fellow young women and I are facing in Africa.