18 May 2017
Dear students and colleagues
Africa Month is commemorated in May every year in most states which are members of the African Union (AU). It commemorates the founding of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963, which became the AU in July 2002. UCT celebrates Africa Month each year with a programme of scholarly and cultural events. The spread of events for this year continues to cut across a range of diverse initiatives which reflect our diversity and Afropolitan vision.
The theme for Africa Month at UCT 2017 is Women@Work in Africa. A focal point of this year’s programme is to create platforms that provide the opportunity to highlight issues of gender equality and the status of women in the workplace in Africa. This theme is aligned to the AU’s Agenda 2063, which offers a framework for the realisation of gender equality and women’s empowerment, socioeconomic transformation and development. Agenda 2063 and its implementation plan further commit AU member states to adopt strategies to tackle unemployment and income inequalities, as well as eradicate poverty.
The Women@Work in Africa Colloquium, scheduled as The Big Debate and the highlight of the Africa Month at UCT 2017, takes place on 25 May 2017. The colloquium will bring together renowned experts on workplace gender equality, including Kate O’Regan, former Constitutional Court Justice; Ms Mwila Chigaga, Senior Gender Specialist at the International Labour Organisation; Professor Adele Blackett, Canada Research Chair in Transnational Labour Law and Development at McGill University; Judge President Fumane Khabo, President of the Labour Court of Lesotho; UCT academics and representatives from the NGO sector.
Africa Month at UCT 2017 also features an expanded programme of events, offered through several units and departments, which will emphasise the theme of Women@Work in Africa through academic seminars, photo exhibitions, film screenings and cultural events. There will also be student participation: in addition to a Jammie Plaza event, the Student Representative Council and student societies are rolling out sport and cultural activities.
We look forward to your attendance and participation in the programme of events.
I thank the Africa Month Steering Committee, and colleagues and students at UCT who have committed their time to putting together this excellent programme.
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
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