Foreign Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma supports call for Government to set up an Umsobomvu type Funding Mechanism for Women

The South African Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Saturday, 14 October 2006, gave her tacit support to calls from women's conference delegates for the establishment of a Women's Fund, to be financed by government and tailored along the Umsobomvu Youth Fund.

Addressing delegates at a three day conference on "Women in Agriculture and Rural Development" at the Regent Hotel in East London, Minister Dlamini-Zuma highlighted the following:

  • South Africa, the African continent and the rest of the world can never realise their full potential unless and until women are placed at the centre of development
  • encouraged African women to network amongst themselves, in communities, across provinces, with other women's organisations on the continent and beyond in an effort to speak in one voice on issues and programmes affecting their lives.

The Minister also raised concerns about persistent problems faced by rural women, including difficulties of accessing credit and developmental finance.

Minister Dlamini-Zuma lamented the fact that the majority of rural women are landless, while vast tracks of land in the country-side are lying fallow.

In conclusion, Minister Dlamini-Zuma urged the 700 strong delegates to start implementing decisions taken at various women's conferences, be it Beijing, World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) and others.

To loud applause the Minister said, "As women we have identified the problems, suggested recommendations for action and time frames. All we need is implementation, implementation and more implementation."

The conference, which ends on Sunday, 15 October 2006, was opened by the Premier of the Eastern Cape, Ms Nosimo Balindlela.

It was also addressed by the Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs, Ms Lulu Xingwana (host), Minister in the Presidency Mr Essop Pahad, Minister of Minerals and Energy Ms Buyelwa Sonjica, the Mozambican Minister of Agriculture Mr Tomaso Embalo and Minister in the Presidency in Guinea Bissau.


Ronnie Mamoepa
Cell: 082 990 4853

Issued by: Department of Foreign Affairs
14 October 2006

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