29 Sep 2018
Ambassador Dr Erieka Bennet
Chair, AU Diaspora African Forum
Excellencies, my colleagues from the Diplomatic Corps
Thank you for inviting us to say a few words. First, let me congratulate the winners of this prestigious Award, and the organisers for staging this event in the City of Gold.
I am pleased to share with you that Singapore last year elected a woman President and Head of State for the first time in our history. I cannot resist but add that we have achieved this ahead of our host country South Africa and the United States, where some of the winners hail from. Given her humble beginning, my President is a social activist at heart. She became President in spite of belong to the “triple minority” of being a woman, Malay and Muslim. She is not only President, but also daughter, wife and mother. Her achievements reflect her values and her tenacity, and perhaps the system we have built in Singapore. I am confident that if she were born in Africa, she would also be a recipient of tonight’s Award of Excellence.
There is a Chinese saying that “Women hold up half the sky”. It is only right that women take their proper place under the sun. I therefore support all woman empowerment activities and am delighted to be here this evening to celebrate the success of African women.