Women Empowerment: Grassroot women at the front-line, executing the Ring-road project

UN Women was able to hold a consultative meeting with some women group representatives, grassroot women and other development stakeholders for the launching of the Ring Road project in the NW. 

Omam Esther and team facilitated the mobilisation of participants and logistical arrangements for some women selected within the Northwest region, who met to give voice to what they expect of the Ring road project. Their views, according to UN Women, will act as a guide in the implementation of the project.

Some of these women stakeholders like Magaret Nzelen, deputy Mayor at the Bamenda III council proposed the need to have women empowerment centers to sharpen skills of young girls and women.

Dr. Eileen Manka Akwo of the women task force; NW/SW emphasized on involving women in the designing and construction of the ring road project from scratch.

The issue of inclusion was raised; Veronica Ngum was representing Persons Living with disabilities at the consultative meeting. She told the representative of UN women to consider access to ascets when working on the ring road project, as the views of PLWDs are most often not considered.

The Fon of Nkwen, Fon Azehfor III made particular emphasis on the need to open farm to market roads to ease the movement of goods and persons, again train some women and girls in local buisness.

The City Mayor appreciated the fact that the ring road project will be championed by the women.

"The long awaited ring will this time come true because the women are leading, this makes me very optimistic".

Welcoming the project at the Regional Assembly, Prof. Fru Angwafor, President of the Regional Assembly Northwest has noted the importance to empower women economically along the ring road.

The local population will be involved in the many aspects of the ring road project soon to take of in the Northwest region.

"Where the road passes, development follows. We are happy that UN women, Reach out Cameroon made sure community based cooperatives and civil society women answered present. The project comes to boost measures already taken by the Regional Assembly, to bring out economic development especialy as women get involve in a major project like this one", Regional Assembly, NW.

MINTP gave a presentation on how the ring road looks like not neglecting that those at the gravity of development are at the grassroots.

"We'll start the section of the ring road from Kumbo to Nkambe and then Misaje; to be done in 3 lots, meaning the work will be done by 3 contractors choosen already by government. The Minister of Public Transport will come to the Northwest region subsequently for the launching".

Reach Out Cameroon told press that there will be a criteria that will be used to scrutinize the worries of these women to fit in the ring road project.

"The women are many and these are just representatives, to brief them on what the project is all about. When the time comes, there will be considerations at the local level in the various municipalities. The criteria of those who will be benefitting will be done by UN women , decentralized services, and the communities; Mayor's, Fons, women's group, Ministries in charge of women empowerment and the familly" Omam Esther, Reach Out Cameroon.

Representing the UN Women in the Northwest region, Estella Kinga, Program Manager for Women economic empowerment, was going to use the women's preoccupations as a guide in the implementation of the ring road project.

"Generally all discursions were centered arround empowering women, which is UN Women's thematic area of intervention. We discussed with the women to have ideas on how to start with the implementation of the ring road project. Discussions focused more on the need to provide women with ressources to start their buisnesses".

The partnership between the Cameroon Government and UN Women through the Ministry of Public works, has entrusted UN Women to empower women along the said project. The voice of the common man or woman is paramount as far as the ring road project in the NW is concerned.

This may not only improve on the movement of goods and people but also promote sustainable growth by promoting domestic and regional trade.

The project will touch the 7 divisions of the Northwest region; Mezam, Boyo, Donga Mantung, Bui, Menchum and Ngoketunjia with several links with the Nigerian border.

Omam Esther, leader of the Non governmental organization; Reach Out is mandated by the UN Women to facilitate the practical organization of the activity.


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