The African Women Conference has launched its leadership Development Centre in Abuja, and charged women and girls to always cooperate among themselves and mentor younger ones to achieve collective and individual goals.
Convener and President, Helpline Foundation for the Needy, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, while speaking during the inauguration of the centre today at the Exhibition Pavilion of the International Conference Centre, Area 8, Abuja, stressed that it was imperative for young girls and women to be mentored by older ones.
According to her, the leadership development programme was an initiative aimed at bridging the gap and encouraging women to be mentors to the Girl-child and serve as role Models to them, assisting them through their chosen careers or business enterprises.
“AWC Leadership Development Centre for Women and Girls is an initiative of the Africa Women Conference to raise female community leaders in every African society who understand the importance and are committed to ensuring sustainable development of their communities.
“The Leadership Development Centre equips young women and girls with skills required to take up leadership roles through personal and career growth.”
Dr. Ahmadu said this and explained that “The centre provides this group a platform for highly skilled international resource persons with driving force change across fields to provide training and mentorship for African women and girls living in under-resourced communities thereby enabling them to aspire for excellence and leadership while helping them realize their full potentials.”
Stressing further that “The Centre achieves this by running a full circle of practical and theoretical impartation which begins with a workshop that enables mentors to meet physically with their mentees via group and individual training.
“During the workshop, resource persons will work with the mentees to develop individual work plans that will be implemented over a six-months period in the mentee’s communities. Both parties remain in touch via online and physical platforms during this period.
“After six months, the mentees’ performances are evaluated through a peer review mechanism, the best performing leaders in various sectors are then selected and empowered to do more for their communities.”
Nollywood actress, Tonto Dike charging the young girls, told them that they represented the change the Centre was set up to achieve.
She also urged them to always be bold, determined and firm in whatever was right and they believed in, adding that she liked to show up whenever and wherever issues regarding women emancipation and development were discussed.
Dike said: “I am proud to be a woman. Train yourselves and be bold when you meet people.
Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), FCT Chapter, Comrade Emmanuel Ogbeche while admonishing the female folk told them that it was time they began to mentor and support themselves, even as he advised them to come up with platforms such as cooperatives where they could support one another.
Advising them to work with the concept, “One for all and all for one”, the NUJ Chairman stressed that leadership represented service and women was also about service, hence the need for women to be given more space in politics and governance.
By Sharon Akuboh Azuvuike.