Rethinking First Ladyship in Africa: Sustainability from Another Lens

Rethinking First Ladyship in Africa: Sustainability from Another Lens

The role played by the wives of heads of state in Africa has been largely under-researched and undermined. But more significant, it has been for the most under-played by the First Ladies themselves. As one would expect much more of First Ladyship in Africa, this paper aims at inciting the next generation of First Ladies (and their husbands) to rethink the office of First Ladyship, as it is an office whose power potential has been underutilized. It equally aims, not only at encouraging the people to demand more accountability from the First Lady, as it is demanded to her husband, but also at bringing to the attention of First Ladies of the moment that an array of innovative avenues are available for them to explore for the betterment of their office. The office of the First Lady is one of incredible potential for soft power in the political system of numerous African countries.

The office of the First Lady is one of incredible potential for soft power in the political system of numerous African countries. Unlike the president, the role of the First Lady is not defined in African constitutions. The lack of definition in federal law leaves First Ladies with no specific assignments and responsibilities, which, as a result, are left for each president and his spouse´s interpretation.

 

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