Friday, 11 September 2015

Leadership Development for Young Nigerian Women: Oxfam in Nigeria and GOTNI Takes the Lead

Nigeria as one of the largest economies in Africa has been through rigorous stages to enhance livelihood and improve her people’s economy. Leadership has been obviously Africa’s biggest challenge due to negative ideologies such as godfatherism, sit-tight leadership and mediocre leadership largely due to the dearth of leadership grooming. Nigeria remains the hope of Africa and at the wake of women empowerment and investment in women, Oxfam in Nigeria has been at the forefront of bridging the leadership gap among women.

Recently, Oxfam has identified with the socio-political need for Nigerian especially in her women, and partnered with Nigeria’s premiere leadership grooming organisation, Guardians of the Nation International (GOTNI) for this onerous task since 2014.

The Young Women Leadership Program (YWLP) 2015 of the GOTNI was flagged off on September 4, 2015 at the Reiz Continental Hotel Abuja, and mentors who spoke include Sen. Grace Folashade Bent, one of Nigeria’s immediate past legislator; Barr. Sharon Ikeazor, Women Leader of the ruling party-All Progressive Congress, Mrs Victoria Bose Okakwu, the Director of Community Development and Special projects at the NYSC, Mrs Olufunke Baruwa, CEO of Women Trust Fund, Hajia Aisha Atiku Bagudu, and Chioma Ukwuagu representing the Country Director, Oxfam in Nigeria and together they set the tone the over one hundred and eighty-eight women in attendance.

The event was the launching of the 2015 edition of the Young Women Leadership Program which is a 5-day mentorship training that runs in 3 batches both in Abuja and Owerri, Nigeria.
The programme launch last weekend afforded participants mentorship opportunities with politicians, party chieftains, Captain of industries, governor’s wife, social entrepreneurs and grant making organisations. The challenges of women in politics and how to overcome it; need for the emergence of women in leadership, governance and politics and the role of mentorship in bringing about those dynamics were at the fore of the event.

Oxfam in Nigeria, funding the GOTNI Young Women Leadership Program explains to Nigerians why investment in women for leadership is imperative. Oxfam country director, represented by Chioma Ukwuagu made the assertion that the women population in Nigeria is higher than male and so cannot be ignored. This fact was also asserted when speakers like Sen. Grace Bent made a striking revelation that Nigeria has been running with only half of her team, being that women are not in the topmost echelon of leadership in Nigeria.
Participants were drawn across university students, NGO entrepreneurs, women in private sector, and entrepreneurs and politicians were seen very excited and were visibly present in the venue of the event hours after the program was over due to the impact.
The Young women Leadership program will train 150 young women in a 5-day cycle per batch of 50 women, from September 7th-25th, 2015. The GOTNI Leadership Centre is hosting this very important leadership mentorship program.

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