Women of African descent residing outside the continent have the potential to make significant contributions to the realization of Agenda 2063, the African Union’s (AU) strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the African continent. This statement was emphasized by Deputy Minister for the Public Service and Administration, Dr. Chana Pilane-Majake, during her closing remarks at the launch of the African Leadership Network in Diaspora in New York, United States of America, on March 13, 2024.

The launch took place on the sidelines of the 68th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which Deputy Minister Dr. Pilane-Majake praised for its continuous efforts towards improving the status of women worldwide. She also acknowledged the crucial role played by the African Women Leadership Network (AWLN), which spans across 33 chapters throughout the African continent. However, she expressed concerns about the underrepresentation of women of African descent within the AWLN and other multilateral organizations such as the United Nations’ CSW.

The launch of the AWLN Diaspora aims to address this disparity. Dr. Pilane-Majake stated, “The launch of the AWLN Diaspora provides an opportunity to recognize the ongoing efforts of African women outside the continent in advancing women’s empowerment for the betterment of Africa and the world. We encourage everyone to support the objectives of AWLN in dismantling barriers to meaningful participation of women in both public and private spheres.”

According to the Deputy Minister, the launch of the AWLN Diaspora aligns with the African Union’s long-standing recognition of the diaspora as “Africa’s sixth region.” This approach acknowledges that the contributions of African women both on the continent and in the diaspora are instrumental in expediting the development and upliftment of Africa. She concluded by affirming that this meeting serves as a formalization of the ongoing practice of integrating Africa’s sixth region into the implementation of the African Union’s Agenda 2063.