DAR-ES-SALAAM– Provision of better access to water and energy resources to alleviate the burden borne by African women and putting in place innovative credit systems for their financial empowerment were among matters deliberated upon at an international forum for women and sustainable development in Africa held here.

The three-day forum which ended on Saturday was jointly organized by the Tanzania Academy of Sciences (TAAS), the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC), the French Embassy in Tanzania and the French Academy of Sciences (FAS).

The Vice-President of NASAC, Dr Yousuf Maudarbocus, said other matters agreed during the meeting, DUBBED the “Dar es Salaam Declarations”, include fostering of quality education, particularly for girls from primary to secondary schools to higher institutions of learning and vocational training.

“Policy makers and international institutions ought also to improve training and employability of young people and put in place mechanisms for establishing and supporting good governance,” Dr Maudarbocus added.

He said participants of the meeting also recommended that necessary measures be taken to strengthen local initiatives which are already in existence to allow women to participate in economic, social and environment issues. More than 150 delegates from 25 countries attended the forum.

“We also agreed to develop access to quality services of family planning and include sex education and reproductive health in all secondary schools and public information programmes, he remarked.

The Executive Secretary of the National Economic Empowerment Council (NEEC), Beng’i Issa, assured participants that the government of Tanzania would incorporate the deliberations in improving local policies on gender equality.

The French Ambassador to Tanzania, Frederic Clavier, declared that his government would work in collaboration with African countries in implementing the deliberations of the meeting. He pledged further that priority on scholarships would be accorded to young Tanzanian scientists to pursue further studies at Master’s and PhD level in France.