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International Women’s Day celebrated by the German Cooperation in Cameroon

by Carole Teuntchou, Marie Stella Tchuente
On March 9th, 2019, the German cooperation in Cameroon celebrated the International Women’s Day, with the theme: “Women and their environment across the ages”, in Konrad Adenauer Stiftung’s premices in Yaounde, Cameroon.

The event, co-organized by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Cameroon, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung’s Regional Programme for Energy Security and Climate Change in Sub-Saharan Africa, focused on discussions around the changes women face due to a changing natural environment, but also the changes in the legal situation of women in the past hundred years in Europe and in Africa.

Mrs. Anja Berretta, Head of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Regional Programme in Cameroon, started the event with welcoming words and a brief historical background on the pertinence of the International Women’s Day.

Through theatrical pieces, University Students of Yaounde I, under the direction of Mrs. Janina Buck of DAAD, raised the question of the meaning and the contemporary context of the International Women’s Day celebration in Cameroon.

In cooperation with GIZ, the Regional programme of Energy Security and Climate Change in Sub-Saharan Africa of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung organized a panel discussion with the theme “women’s perspectives on climate change and energy security”.

The panel discussion, introduced and moderated by Mrs. Anja Berretta, was constituted of Mrs. Irene Yanpelda, an Energy Ingenieur and C.E.O of WeeY, a Cameroonian Company specialized in renewable Energy solutions and services, Mrs. Samba Zambou, the Director of Terra Noeva, an organisation of the civil society located in rural area, and Mrs. Charlotte Remteng, a research associate in different UN Climate projects in Cameroon and reviewer of the journal of Energy and Natural Resources, Science Publishing.

In an interactive and insightful discussion, the panelists highlighted the challenges of women in the context of Climate Change, their innovative solutions in their struggle to be resilient, but also their role as key actors for the sustainable development of their communities, through entrepreneurship in the still male dominated sector of Renewable Energy engineering.

At the end of the well visited event, representatives from the German Embassy, Mr. Lars Leymann and Ms. Judith Gossmann, the Cultural Attaché and the Head of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in Cameroon, Mr. Kramme-Stermose, introduced an Exhibition on “100 years of Women’s voting rights “ in Germany with a presentation of the historical and contemporary context.

The guests visited a photo exhibition prepared by the German Embassy in Cameroon and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, which depicted the progress of women’s voting right in Germany throughout a century that witnessed major political and democratic upheavals of the 20th century.

The event ended with a cocktail that offered guests, panelists, and organizers the opportunity to exchange and to reflect on different aspects of the activities carried out for the International Women’s Day.