African First Ladies To Meet With Experts, Advocates in Los Angeles
Fifteen African first ladies will convene in Los Angeles on Monday for a two-day meeting to promote their work in advancing heath care and education for African women and girls, Reuters reports. The first ladies of Angola, Kenya, Nigeria, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and 10 other African nations will attend the event -- along with Maria Shriver, the first lady of California, Sarah Brown, wife of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and others. The event is being organized by the Los Angeles-based not-for-profit group U.S. Doctors for Africa and African Synergy Against AIDS and Suffering, an organization founded by 22 African first ladies in 2002. Ted Alemayhu, USDFA founder, said, "These are some of Africa's most important leaders, and aiding their efforts is critical to improving health throughout Africa." He added that the meeting "will pair these leaders with U.S. experts, key political figures and important organizations to create ongoing partnerships."
According to Reuters, the meeting is considered the first of its kind for the first ladies in the U.S., and it will introduce the women to business leaders, health policy experts and entertainment figures in California. Jean Stephane Biatcha, executive director of African Synergy, said the first ladies "already know" Washington, D.C., and New York and "thought that by coming to Los Angeles, some of the inspiration that inspires movie makers could also inspire them in their objectives" (Serjeant, Reuters, 4/16).