Source: New Vision
Uganda should have a female president when President Yoweri Museveni retires, South African former first lady has said.

An international advocate for women and children's rights, Graca Machel said Uganda is one of the African countries that has brilliant women who have the potential of becoming president.

"I don't know when President Museveni plans to retire, in 2016? I don't know, but when he does, a woman must prepare and become President. I will tell him (Museveni) this when we meet," she said to applause from women activists at Kampala Serena Hotel on Wednesday.

President Museveni made history when he appointed Dr. Kazibwe as the first Uganda's female vice-president in 1994.

She served until 2003. Machel is the widow of former South African president Nelson Mandela.

She is in the country to advocate for women's economic empowerment and campaign for better policies and financial products for women.

During her three-day visit, Machel will meet gender, finance and trade ministers and the Governor of Bank of Uganda.

She will also visit women's projects at Kyebando, a Kampala suburb, and meet the beneficiaries of New Faces, New Voices financial literacy programme.

Addressing journalists at Serena Hotel, Machel noted that while women have made progress in areas of politics, they are still lagging behind in economic development.

"Despite the fact that there is economic growth, millions of women have not benefited from it. There must be change that reflects equity for all," she said. Machel has been a social and political activist over many decades.
She is the founder and patron of New Faces, New Voices, a pan-African advocacy group that focuses on expanding the role and influence of women in the financial sector.

According to the head of New Face, New Voices Uganda chapter, Ntale Ssekito, over 250,000 women have benefited from the organisation's activities.

UN women country representative for Uganda Hodan Addou applauded Machel's values, saying they help drive decisions towards women empowerment.

"Your values are working globally and it's through your advocacy that women will get answers to issues that affect them," she said.

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