9:02 am - Wednesday December 11, 2019

Interview: Foremost Amazon leading the way for Girl-child education in Africa! ‘Rural Women in Nigeria will occupy key leadership positions in a short distance’-Aisha BABANGIDA, Chairperson, Better Life Program for the African Rural Woman …technology businesses will be headed, owned by women, as they become pacesetters in the development of agriculture in communities *Access to education, health care, and empowerment are greatest problems facing African women * Women should work together as a unit to produce female leaders in Africa * Nigeria has no choice but to support the growth of the Girl-Child *Reveals: * ‘African women take lead in Liberia, Ethopia. We have seen the strength of the women in Sudan. I am very positive we can still witness several women presidents in Africa’ *Recalled memorable moments she helped a rural woman turned successful entrepreneur *PLUS highpoint of her empowerment program for Girl-child and women in Africa GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/AMERICAN Foreign Bureau Chief


Interview: Foremost Amazon leading the way for Girl-child education in Africa!

‘Rural Women in Nigeria will occupy key leadership positions in a short distance’-Aisha BABANGIDA, Chairperson, Better Life Program for the African Rural Woman

…technology businesses will be headed, owned by women, as they become pacesetters in the development of agriculture in communities

*Access to education, health care, and empowerment are greatest problems facing African women

* Women should work together as a unit to produce female leaders in Africa

* Nigeria has no choice but to support the growth of the Girl-Child

*Reveals: * ‘African women take lead in Liberia, Ethopia. We have seen the strength of the women in Sudan. I am very positive we can still witness several women presidents in Africa’

*Recalled memorable moments she helped a rural woman turned successful entrepreneur

*PLUS highpoint of her empowerment program for Girl-child and women in Africa

SHE IS AN OUTSTANDING NIGERIAN LEADER IN HER OWN RIGHTS. AISHA BABANGIDA, the radiant, ever beautiful first daughter of former Nigeria’s President, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida is a hardworking woman of substance, an entrepreneur, businesswoman and humanitarian leader in Nigeria. She is committed to Girl-child education, female empowerment and increasing women’s rights throughout Africa by providing communities the assistance they need to thrive.

Aisha, the Chairperson of the Better Life Program for the African Rural Woman is so passionate in ensuring that African women occupy positions in leadership in Africa. Through her work with the Better Life Program, Aisha carries on her mother’s legacy and furthers her personal passions for community outreach and empowering women. The Better Life Program provides communities with access to adult literacy programmes, skills acquisition and financial literacy.

This charming woman, Founder of Egwafin Microfinance Bank, which she opened in 2016 that focuses on providing “unbankable” women access to funding and financial resources, in order to help them thrive, being also the Founder of the Tasnim Foundation, she had an interactive chat with GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/AMERICAN Foreign Bureau Chief, the graduate of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and INSEAD (“The Business School for the World”) talks about the challenges Girl-child in Africa is facing, empowerment program for Rural Women and other issues:

Naija Standard Newspaper: What are the greatest challenges facing rural women in Nigeria?

Lack of necessities that are her rights: access to education, health care, and empowerment.

Naija Standard Newspaper: Why do you think the rural women in Nigeria are not given equal opportunities as entrepreneurs like the men?

Well first, we must know that the rural women are key to the development of any Nation. Economically, socially, and especially environmentally they are agents of achieving these. So these are enough reason to support them all the way. We need to be aware of them, their needs and how they are key to our own development and develop a systematic approach to their business.

Naija Standard Newspaper: Why do you think the Girl-child in Nigeria are not adequately given educational freedom?

I like creating ways overcomes the hurdles or challenges. Tradition plays a strong part of why, poverty, lack of schools within their vicinities . But now Nigeria has no choice but to support the growth of the Girl-Child. By giving her sound education and skills development which is key to today and tomorrow’s world. By ensuring all schools in the communities are developed by the relevant agencies, teachers are trained and given good incentives, parents are either employed or empowered. local NGOs to be directly involved in supporting the agenda of educating and empowering the Girl-Child.

Naija Standard Newspaper: How do you think the Girl-child in Nigeria would not be discriminated against in every sphere of life?

Education and awareness of the boys and fathers are very important to avoid discrimination against the Girl-Child. Policy must be enhanced to insist the Girl-Child goes to school.

Naija Standard Newspaper: How can Nigeria experience leadership for women in our democracy?

By educating the women on the “education of politics and leadership” to look for mentors to be inspired and educated, to participate at the grassroots level. Because for anyone to be a great leader they must be connected to the grassroot. So three things Education, Mentorship, Unity. Women should work together as a unit to produce female leaders.

Naija Standard Newspaper: What steps do you think it will take to have enough women occupy various leadership position so as to guide in great policy formulation?

Well, I think Nigerian women are vibrant and have evolved. Their ability to deliver on missions is sterling. So the same way they have succeeded in capturing the business sector , we have women heading financial institutions, boards and their own business, the same zeal could be put in place to ensure a group or groups Educated and exposed to guide great policy formulation.

Naija Standard Newspaper: You have done greatly for women in Africa. Can you mention some of your evergreen accomplishments in assisting women in the African continent?

Through mentorship which is key to the development of women in Africa, access to employment and empowerment. Creating platforms for entrepreneurs to be world class.

Naija Standard Newspaper: Can you recall some memorable moments in your women empowering program?

A rural woman approached me to support her after losing her husband and now has to fend for her 9 children alone. She was interested in firewood business. I informed her I will give her a loan with no interest but she should determine the date of payback. Three months later she returned the money as promised. Which was later plowed back into her business. Them at was truly memorable.

Naija Standard Newspaper: Say five years from now, what height do you think women in Africa would have achieved in the area of leadership?

In five years, with sound platforms available to support female entrepreneurs I envision majority of the technology businesses will be headed and owned by women. The Rural women will play a key role in the development of agriculture in the communities.

Naija Standard Newspaper: Someday, do you see a woman becoming the President in any African nation after the reign of former Liberian woman President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf?

Absolutely and why not. We have seen it in Ethopia, we have seen the strength of the women in Sudan. I am very positive.

Naija Standard Newspaper: Finally, what advise do you have for young girls or women striving to have opportunity to be great in their careers?

Keep learning at the same time learn more than three skills. Acquire interest in the politics of the country. Get involved in community projects or volunteer to serve the locals. Read as many books. Look for good mentors to guide and inspire. Participate in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics. Learn to be empathetic. Support your female friends and sister. Believe you have conquered. Above all have faith.

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