The Second Lady of the Republic of Ghana and Global Ambassador for the Global Alliance for Clean cookstoves, Hajia Mrs Samira Bawumia, has been honoured as the African Women of Excellence for her contribution to the cause of humanity.
This follows the passionate drive she is undertaking through the Samira Empowerment and Humanitarian Projects (SEHP).
SEHP is a not-for-profit organisation established with the purpose of empowering the underprivileged in Ghana through diverse social intervention projects to improve lives.
The African Women of Excellence Awards, organized by the African Union in partnership with Diasporan African Forum (DAF), is an event designed to recognize and award African women for their contribution to development and peace in social, political and economic spheres. This year’s edition was held on September 29, 2018 in Sandton City-Johannesburg, South Africa.
Mrs. Bawumia, through SEHP, has initiated a number of interventions in the areas of health, education and empowerment, with special emphasis on women. Notable amongst them is the ‘Safe Delivery Project’, an initiative that seeks to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality in deprived communities.
The safe delivery project endeavours to distribute one hundred thousand (100,000) birth kits to expectant mothers in their third trimester, in deprived communities. The project has, additionally, trained traditional birth attendants and several health workers.
SEHP has also equipped selected health facilities in deprived communities in Ghana. So far, SEHP has retooled the Tamale Teaching Hospital, other four (4) health centres, and ten (10) Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) Compounds with necessary medical and surgical equipment, as well as medical consumables.
In the area of education, SEHP’s ‘Library-In-A-Box’ project has distributed thirty-five thousand (35,000) books to thirty-five (35) schools in seven (7) regions across Ghana. A total of about 40,000 pupils are expected to benefit from these books. This is in fulfilment of a quest to improve literacy and instil a culture of reading among students in Ghana.
SEHP with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has launched a Coalition of People against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Harmful Practices (CoPASH).
CoPASH will spearhead a national response to the issues of SGBV/HPs including case management and increasing prevention efforts in Ghana. The goal of CoPASH is to bring together agencies, organizations and individuals who are passionate about the rights of women and girls, to advocate for better case management for SGBV victims throughout the nation.
In a brief remark at the awards ceremony, Mrs. Bawumia thanked the African Union Commission and the Diasporan Affairs Forum for acknowledging her works. She asserted that “Although this award comes to me, I see it as a celebration and acknowledgement of the work of countless individuals and groups across the globe, whose names we may never know but are serving humanity, selflessly”.
Other noteworthy recipients of the award were; Mrs. Jeannette Kagame, First Lady of Rwanda; Hon. Baleka Mbete, Speaker of the National Assembly, South Africa; Dr. Amina Mohammed, Cabinet Minister for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Kenya.
The rest are Dr. Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun, Chairperson of the United Group, a multi-billion business conglomerate in Namibia and Dr. Toni Luck, of the African Legacy Trust.