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Sultan of Sokoto, Ugandan Monarch Convene Traditional and Religious Leaders for “Keeping Girls in School Summit”

HE President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria (centre) met with the Sultan of Sokoto (centre left) and religious and traditional leaders from over 20 African countries on Monday to discuss the challenge of keeping girls in school.

The Sultan of Sokoto Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, together with The Kabaka of Bugundu (Uganda), Ronald Edward Frederick Kimera Muwenda Mutebi II, on Monday, chaired the “Keeping Girls in School Summit,” a convening of African leaders, traditional rulers, religious heads, youth groups, advocates and thought leaders, in Abuja, Nigeria.

The two-day event brings together influential traditional and religious leaders from across the
continent to discuss the critical issue of keeping girls in school to complete primary and
secondary education (i.e. 12 years of education) and find solutions from within the rich, diverse
cultures and values of Africa’s thought leaders.

With poverty being one of the key drivers of keeping girls out of school, the Summit also seeks to promote incorporating in-school skills that generate income.

The Summit provides a platform for community leaders to share ideas and best practices and
develop strategies and networks to keep girls in school. It also serves as a means to sensitize
and equip these leaders with the right skills to motivate parents and care givers to be deeply
committed to ensuring all girls in their constituencies complete at least 12 years of education.

Speaking at the event, The Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III called on all traditional and religious leaders on the continent to focus on the development of
their communities.

He said: “A key factor in the development of our communities is the education of our girls. I believe traditional and religious leaders will lead in shaping the future of Africa by ensuring all girls complete secondary school education and learn life and livelihood skills in the process.”

In attendance were President Muhammadu Buhari, Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II who presented a lead paper titled “Perspective on Development in Africa – population, education and investment”; Emir of Argungu (Kebbi state, Nigeria) His Highness Alhaji Samaila Mera; Obi of Onitisha, Igwe Alfred Achebe; The Nnabagereka of Buganda, Queen Sylvia Nagginda; The Asantehene of Asante Ghana; Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John OnaiyekanSheikh Sheriff Ibrahim Saleh; Queen Mother of the Asante, Her Majesty Nana Ama Konadu; Sultan of Zinder (Niger Republic) His Highness Alhaji Aboubacar Sanda, as well as representatives from international organisations such as the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Nigeria, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the Department for International Development (DFID) among others.

Also in attendance were representatives of various ministries, departments and agencies in Nigeria including the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Musa Bello and the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu who in his remarks reiterated the importance of girls’ education.

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