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In L.A., first ladies of Africa discuss health issues

Fifteen first ladies from Africa convened today at Skirball Cultural Center, where they met with various countries’ delegations, companies and organizations to discuss health issues and professional leadership development.

The two-day Leadership for Health summit was organized by the Los Angeles-based US Doctors for Africa and African Synergy, a nonprofit formed by 22 first ladies from Africa. The purpose of the closed sessions was to brainstorm how the first ladies could build alliances to improve their respective countries’ efforts in addressing issues such as maternal health, girls' education and HIV/AIDS.

"Empowering Africa's first ladies is an innovative approach to bettering the lives of millions of Africans," USDFA Chairman Ted Alemayhu said in a statement. "The summit will pair these leaders with U.S. experts, key political figures and important organizations to create ongoing partnerships."

The invitation-only conference continues Tuesday and will include a fundraiser, a celebrity-studded gala with a performance by Natalie Cole and a luncheon hosted by California's first lady, Maria Shriver.

-- Corina Knoll

Comments () | Archives (5)

Did the first ladies of Africa, include the 1st freely elected woman president in Africa?

In October, 2008, at the President's Conference on International Development, as is often the case, praise for President Bush and his administration was in the air - for doing what? Doing the walk - not just the talk.

Sir Bob Geldof (Humanitarian activist - and Live 8 organizer):
".. a great adventure.. what America was born to do.. the sense that this is America at it's best..

"President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, of Liberia (the first freely elected woman in Africa's history):

"Under the leadership of President Bush [..] .. What a legacy, Mr. President..." "..America's commitment to democracy and development and to supporting low-income countries around the world has been a signature of foreign policy achievement for President Bush, Secretary Rice, the bipartisan support of the U.S. Congress, and the American people. .."

Lets' keep the effort moving ahead.

Unfortunate would be the kindest thing I could say about the way in which these distinguished African dignitaries are treated in this story. No names, no countries, not to mention nary an image. This reinforces the often-made error that Africa is a country, a lump sum homogeneous undifferentiated mass. One can hardly imagine a group of European first ladies being given such short shrift.

This great initiative, if taken with comprehensive understanding as to: " WHAT IS GOING ON & WHAT ALL IS INVOLVED" could become
a meaningful exercise. When it is viewed only superficiallly it may
not take us anywhere. Mrs. Clinton took up this issue during the
Presidency of Mr. Clinton and it got stuck. WHY?

We only see the Tip of The Iceberg little realizing that 90% is deep down below about which we know nothing.

Mrs. Clinton failed even though her husband was The President.
Let us see how far these ladies may succeed?

They should hold a conference so they can control some of these first ladies crazy husband leaders. First things First.


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