Unicaf Nigeria and the African Women in Leadership Organisation (AWLO) honoured women on the 8th of March with a joint online event on women, education and leadership, presented via Zoom.
AWLO is a non-profit organisation which aims to enhance the leadership potential of women in Africa, in order to benefit the development of the region.
Speaking on behalf of AWLO, its Founder and CEO Dr Elisha Attai said: “Quality Education is important in the wake of a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world…. Currently, women are the most untapped reservoir of human capital, and quality education will shine the light on their talent.”
The Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPM) promotes excellence in People Management.
The Registrar of CIPM Ms Busola Alofe spoke about the importance of lifelong learning: “Education is all about learning throughout our lives..…. Without quality education for all women, the huge potential of half the global population to create and grow value will remain untapped.”
Unicaf’s International Marketing Manager Marisol Barajas underlined that “Education is an important tool for achieving gender equality, as it can empower women and give them the confidence to change the world.’ Unicaf, creates equal opportunities for quality higher education for both women and men. Online learning can benefit millions of women in remote areas, working mothers, physically disabled women, or stay at home mums to transform their lives. To this day, Unicaf has awarded 100 million dollars’ worth of scholarships and has helped change more than 30,000 lives.
The International Womens’ Day online event concluded with the award of the prizes to the three winners of the Unicaf essay competition ‘The importance of empowering women leaders in Africa through quality higher education at times of crisis’.
Habibat Oyiza Ibrahim, 25, won the first prize. She holds a Bachelor in Geology and Mining, runs an online store selling fashion items and is the manager at a poultry farm! She intends to use her prize, a full Unicaf Scholarship, to study for an online Master’s in Computer Science with Unicaf University. She said: “I am optimistic that if women are given equal chances at education, someday many women leaders will say “I came from No-where to Now-here because I was educated”.
Second prize winner Chinelo Linda Okafor, 32, received an 80% Scholarship for a Master’s degree with Unicaf University plus 77.000 NGN in cash. Chinelo holds a BTech in Mathematics and Computer Science and has worked her way up to IT Product Manager for a technology start-up. Speaking at the event she commented: “Women with a higher qualification are more likely to run for political office, and become involved with the decision making process, to help stop gender discrimination. When a higher level of education is attained by the majority of African women, we can build a formidable Africa that will thrive economically and socially, and will be able to withstand any crisis.”
Third winner, Angelica Nneoma Daniel, 25, holds a Bachelor degree in Mass Communication. She works for a Communication Technology Company and is a freelance writer/ producer for an online platform for women empowerment. Receiving her prize of a 75% Unicaf Scholarship for an online Master’s degree with Unicaf University plus a free tablet, Angelica stated: “Women’s rights are human rights, so we should be offering everyone equal rights, respect and equal opportunities to succeed, regardless of their background. The education of women is the first major step to achieving gender equality.”
More than 200 people, mostly women but also a number of men, from different parts of Nigeria, attended the Unicaf Nigeria/AWLO online celebration of International Women’s Day 2021.