The plight of the Nemattoulaye-Attecoube area in Abidjan was highlighted by African Development Bank staff who, in collaboration with the Lion’s Club Abidjan Strelitzia, joined forces to provide much needed assistance and support to the area.
Decked In rubber boots, gloves, masks, and aprons, staff of the African Development Bank joined forces with members of Lion’s Club Strelitzia Abidjan on Thursday to clean up Attecoube – an Abidjan neighborhood that suffered from devastating floods early this year.
Last June, a devastating flooding in Abidjan and environs left deaths and destruction in its wake. Roads were degraded and houses destroyed. Debris littered schools, homes, roads and gutters, leading to environment and health concerns.
The Bank’s Staff Council President, Babatunde Adenibi said the Council and its partners were motivated by the need to give back to the society as part of a broader corporate social responsibility culture.
“In addition to the clean-up exercise, the items we have donated will help the school and the community in general to keep clean,” he said.
For 10-year-old Sephora Zamble and 1,300 students of Ecole Primaire Publique in Attecoube, the effect continues to linger long after. Going to school had become a nightmare as parts of the school was still covered in massive debris. A double-shift school system introduced as a result of the flooding made students take turns to learn. Sephora’s school now wears a new look, bringing immense joy to her and mates, thanks to the clean-up exercise.
Over 50 volunteers went round Nemattoulaye, Attecoube clearing blocked gutters, roads, and schools. Tons of filth, including building rubble, soil and sediments, trees and shrubs were removed and disposed of in plastic garbage bags and disposed of in special purpose tricycle trucks.
An excited Sephora said after the clean-up: “I feel good that this clean-up is happening. Learning in a dirty environment makes me sad. We feel dirty when the school is dirty and often have diseases that our parents don’t have money to cure. I have friends who cannot come to school because our environment is dirty.”
The Staff Council (SCO) of the Bank launched the CLEAN-UP operation as part of activities marking the 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Day on the theme, “Clean up Attecoube.”
The plight of the Nemattoulaye, Attecoube area was highlighted by the African Development Bank staff Association who, in collaboration with the Lion’s Club Abidjan Strelitzia, joined forces to provide much needed assistance and support to the area.
In addition to the Clean-Up activities, the volunteers provided lunch for 1,300 pupils of the local nursery and primary school.
“I believe that the Bank and the Lions Club have the same concern which is improving lives of people in deprived areas. When a group of people come together, roll up their sleeves and take action on a project to make their community better, it’s a beautiful thing and an incredible feeling for everyone involved,” said Daniele Ouegnin, President of Lion Club International, District 403 A2, Zone 311.
“Being a Lion is about leading by example, building relationships and improving the word through kindness. It is how caring Men and Women serve together so they can make greater impact and change more lives.”
To help the community remain clean, the mission donated cleaning tools, including 3 wheel garbage trucks , large wheeled waste bins, brooms, brushes, rakes, wheel barrows, shovels, gloves, garbage bags, masks, various cleaning products and disinfectant materials.
Principal of Ecole Primaire Publique 2, Mme Akabla Aoussi described the intervention as timely, given that the neighbourhood needs the donated tools to clean up the environment.
“We want to thank you for choosing this place that really needs help. Our environment is water-logged and in need of interventions like this,” she said.
The corporate social responsibility activity supports the Bank’s overall assistance to its host country.
At the end of October 2018, the Bank’s portfolio in Cote d’Ivoire comprised 23 operations (11 national, 5 multinational and 7 private sector operations) for total net commitments of €1,162 million. The public sector accounts for 16 operations valued at €1,218.03 million, while the private sector accounts for 7 projects worth € 261 million. Transport and energy sectors account for 65% and 24% of the portfolio, respectively.
Since 1964, when the Bank started operations in Cote d’Ivoire, it has participated in financing about 85 operations amounted € 2,845 million.
African Development Bank
GSMA Report Reveals The Gender Gap In Mobile Internet Use Is Shrinking, Despite The COVID-19 Pandemic
GSMA Report: An estimated 112 million more women started using mobile internet last year across low- and middle-income countries, despite the onset of COVID-19, according to the fourth annual GSMA Mobile Gender Gap Report published today.
Nevertheless, 234 million fewer women than men access mobile internet. Moreover, the underlying gender gap in mobile ownership persists and is proving difficult to close.
Affordability, lack of literacy and digital skills, and lower awareness of mobile internet are critical and common barriers for women. Structural inequalities in society and discriminative social norms also remain a challenge. Even when women have the same levels of education, income, literacy, and employment as men, they are still less likely to own a mobile phone or use mobile internet.
The report further revealed that a record number of women in South Asia now use mobile internet services, helping shrink the gender gap to 15% from 19% last year in low- and middle-income countries.
The gains in South Asia, which had the most significant gender gap in 2019 with women 50% less likely than men to use mobile internet, masked the stagnation in other regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa. Women in both regions now face a similar gender gap in mobile internet use – 37% in Sub-Saharan Africa and 36% in South Asia.
Women were more likely than men to access the internet exclusively via mobile in almost all markets surveyed. In Kenya, for example, 63% of male internet users said they only used the internet via a mobile device compared to 79% of females. This reliance by women on mobile demonstrates the disproportionate benefit of increasing their access.
“If women are to become equal citizens in a more digital, post-COVID world, closing the mobile gender gap has never been more critical,” said Mats Granryd, Director General, of the GSMA. “I urge policymakers, the private sector and the international community to take note of the important findings laid out in the Mobile Gender Gap Report because only concerted action and collaboration will enable women and their families to reap the full benefits of connectivity.”
The GSMA introduced the Connected Women Commitment Initiative in 2016 to catalyse action to close the mobile gender gap. Mobile operators continued to make commitments during 2020, with 40 mobile operators across Africa, Asia and Latin America making formal commitments to accelerate digital and financial inclusion for women since 2016. These operators have already reached more than 40 million additional women with mobile internet or mobile money services.
The GSMA’s Mobile Gender Gap Report 2021 is available at: https://www.gsma.com/r/gender-gap/
Further information on the Connected Women Commitment Initiative can be found at: https://www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/connected-women/the-commitment/
Sahara Foundation Launches Sahara Regenerator Technical Program (STRP) To Combat Climate Change, Boost Employment
Sahara Foundation, the corporate citizenship vehicle of energy conglomerate, Sahara Group, has launched its inaugural Sahara Regenerator Technical Program (STRP) to promote capacity building among youths in Edo, Lagos and Rivers in Nigeria.
STRP will give beneficiaries a platform to develop technical skills in the installation and maintenance of meter and solar systems to enhance energy access, combat climate change and promote economic development in Nigeria.
With unemployment rate standing at 33.3% as of Q4 2020 and anticipated to hit 35% this year, experts say Nigeria needs to provide ample entrepreneurial opportunities for its teeming youth population.
Targeted at 120 youths with informal/minimal education, the project is also expected to help empower beneficiaries with resources to build sustainable businesses and ultimately become employers of labour.
Sahara Foundation will partner with leading African academy, the Energy Training Centre (ETC) and the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN) to implement STRP.
According to Pearl Uzokwe, Director, Governance and Sustainability, Sahara Group, “the regenerator program comes at a crucial time where a gap exists in the technical skills needed to implement efforts aimed at providing clean energy through solar and bridging Nigeria’s significant metering gap. We are delighted at the opportunity to mould the next group of entrepreneurs in the power sector in line with Sahara Group’s vision to promote green energy and environmental sustainability.”
In 2020, Sahara Foundation revised its focus areas to two key pillars for all interventions going forward: Access to Energy and Promoting Sustainable Environments in alignment with our Group’s core vision.
Participants will develop competencies in the installation of single and three phase meters in residential and small commercial premises. The Solar PV Installation Technician program will train individuals to provide excellent service for residential and small commercial solar installations.
According to ETC’s Managing Director, Ibiene Okeleke, “ETC is excited to partner with Sahara Foundation in building capacity in their communities through these two programmes. The project will drive inclusive growth, poverty reduction through job creation and support the global energy transition mandate to provide cleaner forms of energy and aggressively reduce carbon emissions. We are proud to be associated with Sahara Foundation on this mission.”
Lande Abudu, REAN’s Executive Secretary stated that “having long recognised the importance of capacity building towards achieving universal access to energy, it is fitting that we combine efforts to enhance skills development in Nigeria. At REAN, we recognise the importance of collaborations and partnerships to reach shared goals. We are excited to work with Sahara Foundation and look forward to the positive outcomes that will certainly result from the programme.”
Applications for STRP will be open from June 11, 2021, to June 25, 2021 and can be submitted online or picked up and submitted at Sahara Group’s offices in the designated states. Interested participants can also visit www.ujanahub.com/strp and Sahara Foundation’s social media handle @iamsaharafdn for more information.
NASME Women Celebrates International Women’s Day 2021 with Empowered Women Event
L-R Mrs Victoria Oluwasanya – immediate past Vice Chairman of NASME Lagos, Mr. Solomon Aderoju – immediate past Chairman NASME Lagos, Otunba (Mrs) Gbemi Oduntan – National Women Coordinator NASME, Sir. Prince Degun Agboade – National President- NASME, Dr. Adams Adebayo – Chairman NASME Lagos, Mrs Wumi Oluwadare – 2nd Vice Chairman NASME Lagos. (Source: NASME/Dr. Jumoke Kassim)
Every March 8 is celebrated as International Women’s Day. An annual call to action for gender parity across the world. These actions range from marches and protests to advocacy and campaigns. This year’s International Women’s Day 2021 theme was tagged – “Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world” with the campaign theme #ChooseToChallenge. On the 12th March 2021, the National Association of Small & Medium Enterprises (NASME) marked this year’s international women’s day 2021 with an event organised and coordinated by the NASME Women (Lagos WING).
Due to the global pandemic (COVID-19), the event took place both physically and virtually in line with the government COVID-19 safety protocol. The physical event was held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja, Lagos while several guests joined virtually (Zoom) from different parts of the world. The NASME’s topic was on “Women, Family Law & Property Rights”.
Hajia Yinka Paramole-Shabi, the moderator for the day, commenced with an introduction of guests, speakers and how essential it was for NASME to have a women wing. The purpose of which is to have enviable women in business who can stand out among the male gender. She appreciated the support of the NASME president, a man that has been the backbone for the creation of the NASME Women Wing.
The Host and NASME Lagos Women Coordinator, Otunba (Mrs) Gbemi Oduntan in her opening speech explained why women should start challenging the status quo. She pointed out that women are not here to compete with their male counterpart. But are only demanding for a space on the table because it has been proven that what a man can do, a woman can do same, even much better. She believes 75% of what some women do these 3C’s jobs: Clearing, Cleaning and Chores that are not paid, because the world sees them as the weakest link. She gave some examples of women challenging the Status Quo in their respective industry. She mentioned Capt. Agbelusi who was one of the guests at their event in 2019 and her impact in the aviation industry. She concluded by saying “We need a gender balanced society” and left the audience with these three (3) parting words; Be prepared, Make sure your account is alright and Make the man know we are choosing to challenge.
NASME National President, Prince Degun Adeagbo in his speech extols the key roles women play at home, workplace and in the society at large. He said more women should choose to challenge the gender bias, inclusion and parity. He believes their aspirations can be achieved when women work together through different organisations as NASME and urged them to be a part of the community. Prince Degun admonished the Lagos women wing for their impact. On behalf of NASME, he appeals to the Government but at the federal and state to do everything possible to get more women involved in governance by lowering the bar. In future, he wants to see a woman become the President of NASME.
Mrs. Modupe Oyekunle is an industrialist and currently the National Coordinator of the Association of Nigerian Women Business Network (ANWBN). She shared her thoughts on why it is important to choose to challenge the status quo with emphasis on financial inclusion and diversity. Mrs. Oyekunle also spoke about the Passage of the bill on women national business agenda with 5 key focus areas; High rate of insecurity, Gender inequality, power and infrastructural facilities. She encouraged more women organization to work together in pursuit of the common set goals.
The Hon. Commissioner for Commerce, Industry & Cooperatives, Dr. Lola Akande was represented by Mrs. Oluwakemi Ogunmodede, a Director in the Ministry of commerce.
Mrs. Angela EMUWA, Chairman at Punch Nigeria Limited appreciated all the men supporting women who are challenging the status quo. She talked about the challenges and biases women face in the society. She emphasized on the role’s women play and why they should be given a space.
Dr. Adeyemi Agbelusi’s presentation was on the topic “Women, Family Law & Human Right” and how the law does not favour the women in our society. In terms of surrogacy, adoption, settlement after marriage divorce, Right & interest to property. He urged women to pay more attention to Cultural & financial intelligence before going into any kind of relationships.
The NASME event ended with an award ceremony where two of its members were awarded a plaque and some cash to support their business.
The first awardee is Mrs. Adesanya Modupe Olusola who lost everything in her piggery business during the (COVID-19) lockdown, as a result of Swine Flu that killed all her pigs. She said the award came to her as a surprise and the fund will put her back on her feet and appreciates platforms such as the NASME that provides women with so many empowerment opportunities. According to her, one way women can choose to challenge is by challenging their children to do great things. She advises women in a male-dominated industry with this saying, “Whatever needs to be done needs to be done well.”
Mrs. Mitana Blessing Matthew, the second awardee is the co-Founder of Authentic Natural products (African cosmetic brands), a company she co-founded with her late husband. She appreciated the support from NASME and promised the fund will be used to boost her business.
The NASME International Women’s Day event is a true indication of women supporting women and we hope to see more collaborations and not competition among women in business in Africa.
NASME is the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Entrepreneurs and owners of small businesses across all sectors of the economy, creating business opportunities as well as providing solutions to individual member’s challenges to ensure the success of every business venture in Nigeria. Their vision is to be the voice of Nigeria Entrepreneurs advocating for conducive environment while partnering with MSME promoters to ensure the emergence of large pool of viable technologically empowered MSMEs. NASME promotes the empowerment of Nigeria’s MSMEs as a means of achieving sustainable employment generation, economic growth and development in the country.
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Priceless Women Initiatives founded Hon. Oyinda Adegoke
NASME Women… Upwardly mobile!
More Picture from the event
L-R: Mrs. Esther Ebeh, Ms. Oyelola Fadaini, Yeye Dupe Dada, Mrs. Matilda Taiwo & Ms. Yinka
Watch the full event here on YouTube NASME IWD2021 EVENT
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