On October 6, 2015, the U.S. Embassy in Yaounde welcomed the Honorable Oumoul Ahidjo, who serves as a Member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Cameroon. The Honorable Ahidjo will join eight fellow women Members of Parliament and the Senate in a visit to the United States of America this fall for a an exchange program titled “Women and Politics” under the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. She was met by Public Affairs Officer Roberto Quiroz II, Cultural Affairs Officer Merlyn Schultz, and Cultural Affairs Specialist Gladys Viban.
The Honorable Oumoul Ahidjo, said: “For me, this program is a gateway to paving increased solidarity among female legislators and will enable us to promote progressive legislation for women in Cameroon. It will give us an opportunity to see best practices and strategies that have worked in the U.S. in engaging women to assume leadership and speak up on violence against women, education for young girls, entrepreneurship, and politics. As the first ever female Mayor in the Northern regions of Cameroon, I look forward to seeing how American women have gained leadership positions and how they sustain their efforts. We also look forward to sharing our own experiences as Cameroonian women leaders.”
Mr. Quiroz presented the Honorable Ahidjo with a gift book titled “Washington: Portrait of a City,” and lauded her work and that of Cameroonian women leaders from all sectors as “stellar pioneers whose achievements offer women and girls examples to emulate and follow.” “As President Obama has said and Ambassador Michael S. Hoza has reaffirmed during his visits throughout Cameroon’s regions, promoting development in all nations requires enthusiastically welcoming the immense talents and contributions of all women. Furthering women’s rights and the education of girls are essential values in order to build a future of promise and progress for all citizens. The United States salutes the efforts of women leaders from all sectors and individual citizens whose efforts are contributing to promoting peace, stability, and development in Cameroon. Together – government, civil society, private sector, interfaith leaders, citizens, and youth – they are all essential towards ensuring the fulfillment of their vision for expanding prosperity and opportunities,” said Mr. Quiroz.
Ms. Schultz also thanked the Honorable Oumoul Ahidjo for visiting the United States and commended her achievements, saying: “You are a role model for women and girls, especially in the North Region which you represent. The service of women leaders like you and your colleagues are a living tribute to the achievements made by women in Cameroon.” Ms. Viban said: “Cameroonian women need examples like you and your colleagues, women who continue to inspire hope and possibility in their communities and we are deeply honored that you are a part of this life changing program for women in Cameroon.”
See Facebook album of visit: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10156106708380716.1073742093.312546460715&type=3&uploaded=5. To learn more about the IVLP program, please see: http://eca.state.gov/ivlp.