Business and Professional Women (BPW) Nigeria recently organised its annual convention with the theme, ‘Women Collaborating for Global Impact towards a sustainable framework’ in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The National President, Yinka Ajjibola, said the last one year has been eventful at the local, national and international fronts.
The keynote address was taken by Dr. Keziah Awosika, gender and development expert and Director, Women, Law and Development Center (WLDCN). Women, Awosika said, are doing well in their chosen fields of endeavour, but haven’t conquered the political terrain. “Now that we are on the threshold of another election we need to do more. If we have global impact, we must ask for inclusion”, she noted.
She also lamented that the poverty level in Nigeria has increased in the last 15 years, adding that is one of the MDGs that were never really achieved.
The second session, “Empowering Women and Youth through Growth based Collaboration was taken by Mrs Ime Ephraim Iyang. She talked about the numerous opportunities for women and youths in the state, as well as how to maximise these opportunities for growth and development. She said: “When collaborative growth is instituted, it helps individuals and organisations to synchronise their team to align workplace to grow effectively with individual fulfillment and shared goals. “In empowering women and young people therefore, it becomes very imperative to understand the growth path as it has transitioned in Africa in the last decade.”
In her presentation, Mrs. Janet Asuquo Amba, focused on women collaborating to drive political inclusion. She kicked off her presentation with two video clips depicting why some men were afraid of female inclusion in politics. To overcome these obstacles, women she emphasised, must understand the challenges and support one another. “We must each make sacrifices to be heroes”. She ended the session by pointing out at early female pioneers like Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, Hajia Gambo Sawaba and Margaret Ekpo.
Dr Akon Eyakenyi, was the fourth Speaker and her presentation was titled, ‘Education as a Catalyst for Global Impact’.
Awards were presented to the First Lady, Her Excellency Martha Udom Emmanuel, who was represented by the Honourable Commissioner for Women Affairs and three other speakers at the event.
The day ended with a colourful Gala Night at the Government House Akwa Ibom. Members and guests were treated to sumptuous meals, cultural display, music and dance.