Many times African queens are seen in the company of their kings at cultural events. While some of these queens have been involved in charities, which has always remained in their spheres, others have been portrayed on their dress code.
For the first time ever, in a bid to increase their sway, the queens have decided to come together under a single network which will see them further impact on their respective kingdoms and countries. The network, named African Queens and Women Cultural Leaders’ Network (AQWCLN), will be launched next week at a five-day conference to be held in Uganda from September 3-7.
In an interview with the Daily Monitor, Ms Solome Nakaweesi Kimbugwe, the chief executive officer Nnabagereka Foundation, said: “This is where the real gold mine is that can bridge the gap given the reality that the world is witnessing a shift in global development, growing inequality, volatility on many levels, mounting aspirations and impatience for change amidst more networking and the rise of street power.”
The launch will be co-hosted by AQWCLN co-founder Nnabagereka Sylvia Nagginda of Buganda and founder member Queen Mother Best Kemigisa of Tooro Kingdom.
The AQWCLN conference will be held under the theme ‘African Queens and Women Cultural Leaders: A Vehicle for Social and Economic Empowerment of Rural Women and Youth in Africa – Looking Beyond 2015, The Future We Want.’
Ms Kimbugwe said the 21st century realities of globalisation have reignited the need for cultural renaissance to try to reposition and identify who Africans are in a fast changing dynamic world. She said “the renaissance of culture, reconnecting with who we are and celebrating our agency first of all as Africans, women and as leaders is a major milestone that the network will deliver to Africa”.
This is because, she added, it celebrates women in traditional leadership and accords them the space to propose alternatives to African development through the use of cultural networks and frameworks that may have been eroded through colonialism and neo-colonialism.
The network brings together African queens, queen mothers, princesses and women cultural leaders to improve the lives of women, girls and children in Africa. The establishment of AQWCLN is a response to the “Harare Call to Action” adopted in May 2012 at the Global Power Women Network Africa high Level meeting, which called for the creation of a forum.
AQWCLN works in partnership with the African Union and the regional economic communities and is supported by the United Nations and other partners.