Source: Zambia Daily Mail Africa can only sustain its successes if its material conditions ensure that women participate fully alongside men in the production and development of the continent, says former prime minister of Mozambique Luisa Diogo.
Ms Diogo also said the month of July particularly for African women is a month of celebration and reflection on the successes achieved and reflection about the present and future.
She said this in Lusaka at the 3rd African Women's Economic Summit dinner gala. The summit was held under the theme 'African Women Realising Africa's Economic Potential'.
In attendance at the dinner were former South African first lady Graca Machel, Minister of Gender Inonge Wina, and Bank of Zambia Deputy Governor for Administration Dr Tukiya Kankasa-Mabula among others.
Ms Diogo, who is also Chairperson of Barclays Bank Mozambique, said African women realising the economic potential of the continent is talking about the sustainability of the gains achieved in matters of gender equity.
"Realising Africa's economic potential requires the involvement of all Africans, men and women.
This potential lies in three dimensions, the Land, Men and Women, and financial capital," she said.
Ms Diogo said successful women economic empowerment begins in the leaders' mindset with full political will.
She said constraints such as lack of political will to improve gender equity, obstacles in accessing land among others should be removed from the trade sector to enable women to explore the trade industry.
And Standard Chartered Bank Chief Executive Officer Andrew Okai said the global initiative for economic, social and cultural rights estimates that women represent approximately 70 percent of the 1.2billion people living in poverty across the world.
"What we need is a targeted focus to advance women's economic and social rights and this conference is one such focus for Zambia," he said.
Mr Okai said Zambia has made strides towards women's empowerment over the last 50 years with women such as Chibesa Kankasa playing significant roles in the liberation of this country.
He said it is such women who have opened the doors for many other successful Zambian women seen today in politics, business, finance, education, and health.
He commended First Lady Dr. Christine Kaseba, Judge Chawatama, Stella Libongani, and Edith Nawakwi among others.
Mr Okai also said the Bank has developed financial products that are either specifically targeted at women or which are inclusive of women.