Building African champions

From 23 to 26 November, the fourth youth capacity-building workshop took place under the concept note: Gender intelligence skills development for African teachers and journalists to enhance girls’ education in Africa.

07 December 2021 | Africa

Monique Adams





The African Union’s International Centre for Girls and Women’s Education in Africa (AU/CIEFFA) is a specialised institution established for the promotion and advocacy of gender equality in education on the continent.

The vision of the programme is to build a community of young Africans working towards an education eco-system.

Its mission is to engage, empower and build the skills of young people, championing gender equality in and through education in their communities.

The programme targets young African men and women aged between 18 and 35.

Their selection is young people who are actively using their talents and skills to address prevailing gender equality issues where they come from.

Emma Theofelus, who was a 2017 alumnus, was also part of the programme, and in 2020 at the age of 23 became the youngest Member of Parliament in Namibia. She was also appointed deputy minister of information, communication and technology in March the same year.

also sits on the board of Namibia’s National Council of Higher Education and was listed as one of the 100 most influential African women by the Business Insider Africa.

The first module done at the workshop was ‘Gender stereotyping: Facing the facts and challenging the myths’. Dr Rita Bissoonauth, head of mission at AU/CIEFFA, said: “Gender stereotyping is a term used to describe preconceived ideas about the roles of boys, girls, men and women play in our society. Stereotyping ensures that individuals are limited in their roles of their gender,” she said.

In her presentation, she provided ‘real life’ examples from teaching and learning resources and newspapers from the continent.

She also outlined the consequences of gender stereotyping in communities, the workplace and society.

What she expected out of the session is for the participants to have acquired an understanding of the impact gender stereotyping can have in the workplace, communities and society at large.

After a successful four-day workshop, the AU/CIEFFA hopes to host one in Namibia again.

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