- April 13, 2016
On April 13th 2016, as the Spring Meetings began at the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C. , Ambassador Mathilde Mukantabana represented Rwanda in Let Girls Learn, a special event featuring the First Lady of the U.S. Michelle Obama.
During this event the First lady Michele Obama called upon key policy makers and influencers to commit to urgent action in support of adolescent girls. Let Girls Learn was launched in March 2015 with a mission to address the range of challenges preventing adolescent girls from attending and completing school, and from realizing their potential as adults.
Only three countries, Rwanda, Ghana, and India were chosen to announce their commitment to improving the lives of adolescent girls in their countries. Ambassador Mathilde Mukantabana who represented Rwanda showcased the various efforts that Rwanda has made to ensure that the Rwandan girl is offered a platform when she can realize her full potential.
“One such commitment was the creation of the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF). Under its umbrella, National Commission for Children (NCC) was also established in 2011 to promote both the children rights and opportunities for adolescent girls to develop into productive and responsible citizens,” said Ambassador Mukantabana.
Ambassador Mukantabana highlighted the reputation of Rwanda as a “gender powerhouse,” a philosophy that has been made a priority for policy makers under the leadership of President Paul Kagame.
Due to the special case of Rwanda in being a post conflict and fast developing country, an emphasis has been put on a holistic approach for sustainable change. Foundations such as Imbuto, led by the First lady Jeanette Kagame, have been championing the efforts of ensuring that the needs of the entire family are met, thus providing conducive environment for girls to learn and grow.
All three countries that were represented made and economic case for investing further in girls to those present, the majority of them being active members of global finance and development.
“As a nation, we want to build a Rwanda where more adolescent girls pursue higher education, jobs held traditionally by men, gain access to credit, run their own businesses, and continue to holistically contribute to society. We envision a Rwanda, where all barriers for girl’s education across all levels are eliminated, laying the groundwork for a strong and prosperous future,” said Ambassador Mukantabana as she concluded her remarks.
In her remarks, First lady Michele Obama said “When we invest in girls’ education it doesn’t just benefit them. It benefits all of us.” The President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim announced that $2.5 Billions will be invested in the education for girls, a decision that was positively received by the audience.