Joseph Madzimure Senior Reporter
THE United Nations (UN) has congratulated First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa on being elected vice president of the Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD).
This was said yesterday by UN Resident Coordinator Mr Bishow Parajuli during a stakeholder consultation workshop on the strategic framework for the engagement of the Office of the First Lady in HIV, Health and Development in Zimbabwe.
The workshop was aimed at mapping a work plan to guide the First Lady on issues where her advocacy work is needed.
Mr Parajuli said the UN commended the First Lady for her assistance to the less-privileged.
“Let me seize this opportunity to congratulate you First Lady for recently being elected vice president of the Organisation of African First Ladies for Development.
“This is indeed, an excellent recognition of your tireless efforts and philanthropic work and assistance to the less privileged in Zimbabwe.
“I note that this is only one of the many achievements since taking office and a key reflection of your ongoing commitment, your passion and love to improve people’s lives in Zimbabwe,” said Mr Parajuli.
He said the UN recognises the influence and leadership that the Office of the First Lady brings to champion social and developmental issues.
Mr Parajuli added that Government leaders have a unique opportunity to build bridges between civil society and Government institutions.
“They are able to take risks, challenges, expectations and push against deeply ingrained biases to offer a more inclusive and equitable vision of society,” he said.
Mr Parajuli commended Zimbabwe for making tremendous progress in addressing health and developmental challenges, but suggested that more effort should be invested in addressing the challenges.
“The development of this strategic framework of engagement is, therefore, a moment of significant opportunity to build upon as we support the Government to improve health and development.
“Its emphasis on health, including HIV, development, gender equality and empowerment of women and girls is critical to progress in all other areas of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). Health and development are what will take Zimbabwe to the next level and towards Vision 2030 to become an upper-middle income country,” added Mr Parajuli.
Amai Mnangagwa said she was committed to contributing towards creating an enabling environment to address poverty, inequalities and poor service delivery, and meet the needs of vulnerable groups.
“My role as the First Lady is a supportive one. Where I can, I hope to contribute towards an enabling environment for implementing solutions that address poverty, inequalities and poor service delivery, and meet the needs of vulnerable groups.
“In meeting my social mandate, I support Government, communities and stakeholders in achieving their goals,” she said.
Amai Mnangagwa said the draft strategy is guided by relevant Government strategies and frameworks.
“The draft strategy is guided by the relevant Government strategy and frameworks and builds on to already existing work. In addition, as a member of Organisation of African First for Development (OAFLAD), I have committed to supporting and implementing priorities set out in the OAFLAD Strategic Plan 2019-2023, where I was voted and appointed the vice president of the OAFLAD.
“It is my hope that when the framework of engagement is finalised, it will articulate what my office aims to do in order to support the acceleration and the attainment of national and international commitments to HIV, health and development,” she said.
Speaking at the same occasion, Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo said the draft strategy for the engagement of the Office of the First Lady was put in place through a consultative process working with Amai Mnangagwa’s Angel of Hope Foundation, National Aids Council (NAC), Ministry of Health and Child Care and other line ministries; outlining how the First Lady will work to support health and development.
“This consultation will come up with a work plan to guide the First Lady on issues where her advocacy is greatly needed and where she can leverage her comparative advantage to support the work that we all do for the benefit of the people of our nation,” said Dr Moyo.