Across the African continent, First Ladies are generally considered the ‘Mother of the Nation’, and are often expected to be unifying figures, serving the president of the nation and the voters who entrusted him the mandate to lead.
While the position of first lady is not legally or constitutionally provided for in many countries, many presidencies cater for the Office of the First Lady, through which the holder is facilitated to champion social causes.
The Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD), created in 2002, brings together First Ladies of Africa ‘to advocate for policies that make health services accessible and laws that boost women and youth empowerment’.
OAFLAD is currently led by First Lady of Burkina Faso, Adjoavi Sika Kabore, who is deputised by her Kenyan counterpart Margaret Kenyatta. A first lady by definition is the wife of the head of state, and it therefore follows that most African nations led by a male president, have a first lady.
Gabon First Lady celebrates coronavirus mural
As most presidents take decisions to curtail spread of coronavirus pandemic which has seen rising cases across the continent, First Ladies are doing their part in supporting education and in other instances making donations.
Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, the Gabonese First Lady through her social media handles shared photos of COVID-19 themed murals from the University of Dakar. From a person coughing in flexed elbows, coughing into a tissue and properly disposing it off and washing of hands with soap.
Botswana First Lady joins #SafeHands challenge
First Lady of Botswana Neo Jane Masisi on Thursday joined the #safehands challenge started by WHO boss Tedros Ghabreyesus weeks back. The idea is to advocate the washing of hands with soap as a prevention measure for the coronavirus pandemic.
The WHO chief challenges among other Rwandan president Kagame, who accepted the challenge. So far Ethiopian Prime Minister, Senegal President, Ethiopian President, a raft of global celebrities and sportsmen have all taken part.
Buhari’s daughter in self-isolation
A member of Nigeria’s first family is in self isolation, first lady Aisha Muhammadu Buhari confirmed on Thursday. Hanan Buhari, a first daughter, is in self isolation after returning from the United Kingdom. “Based on the advice of the Hon.
Minister Of Health , Presidential Task force on COVID – 19 and that of NCDC, She is on Self Isolation, not because she displayed any symptoms of the Covid-19,” her mother wrote on Twitter.
Ghana First Lady cancels event over coronavirus
A planned event by Ghana’s First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo has been cancelled due to the reported cases of COVID-19 in the country.
The event, which was scheduled for later this evening was to award some Ghanaian women as part of the National Women’s Month celebration.
A spokesperson for the First Lady, Sheila Sekyi said the office does not want to take chances after two cases were reported yesterday [Thursday]. Sheila Sekyi said the cancellation is in the interest of the public.
Zimbabwe First Lady gets class one driver’s license
Zimbabwe’s First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa as part of Wonemn’s month activities has undergone training in defensive driving and was on Wednesday awarded a first class license, state broadcaster ZBC reported.
The report said the First Lady’s action was also to inspire other women to take driving seriously given that the country generally had a low number of especially public transport drivers.