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The Women’s Luncheon at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit
July 28, 2014

What is the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit?
It’s the largest engagement a U.S. president has ever had with African leaders and governments. The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit will bring together 50 heads of state, along with a range of U.S. and African civil society and business leaders, to discuss the future of Africa.

What issues will the Summit address?
The summit leader sessions will focus on topics such as trade and investment, peace and regional stability, and good governance. The signature events will address issues such as civil society, women’s empowerment, global health, resilience and food security, and wildlife trafficking.

What will happen at the women’s empowerment event?
During the Investing in Women for Peace and Prosperity signature event, U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power will host a panel discussion that will emphasize the importance of investing in women for peace and prosperity; highlight African governments’ effort to promote gender equality; and reaffirm African and U.S. commitments to advancing gender equality.

Why is this issue important to young African leaders?
African women’s leadership and meaningful participation across sectors and generations are central to sustainable development in Africa. Women’s participation — in government, the economy, and society — accelerates economic growth, improves health and education, advances democratic governance and fosters peace and security.

When women have the same opportunities and access to resources as do men, the benefits extend beyond women themselves. As women work to strengthen their families and communities, they foster the education and health of the next generation, hasten economic growth and strengthen public and private institutions.

And when women succeed, nations succeed. In countries where women are empowered to participate and to lead, society is safer, more secure and more prosperous. That’s because women’s participation in and leadership of public and private institutions make these institutions more representative and more effective.

The United States is committed to supporting the efforts of its African partners and young African leaders to expand women’s and girls’ access to health care, education, clean water and proper nutrition; and to promote women’s full participation in society.

Photo credit: MCC

What was the outcome of the Investing in Women, Peace and Prosperity Signature Event at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit?
Jill Biden, wife of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, opened the “Investing in Women for Peace and Prosperity” signature event at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, where the United States committed new assistance to advance women’s empowerment in Africa. The support will bolster women’s participation in peace building and in parliamentary campaigns, assist in the development or implementation of National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security, and help women entrepreneurs to launch or expand businesses.

The United States will provide technical support to strengthen African Union and national-level efforts to address barriers to the equal participation of women in the agricultural sector. Through wPOWER and working with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, it will provide grants to organizations that promote the role of women entrepreneurs in selling clean technologies and that scale-up programs to educate adolescent girls on clean-energy technologies. The United States also will provide increased assistance to the Inter-Parliamentary Union to build the capacity of African parliaments working to advance gender equality and to support parliamentary campaigns on specific gender-equality issues.