Dr. Adama Kalokoh (Image: Supplied)
Dr. Adama Kalokoh, Founder of Impact Sierra Leone shared her thoughts with Business Africa Online on #BreakingTheBias.
“This theme resonates with me so deeply because we all deserve a seat at the table. It does not stop there, we also deserve the right for our voices to be respectfully heard in and out of the boardroom. The time is now for the world to recognize that gender equality is not an option but an absolute necessity.
As a proud descendant of Sierra Leone, West Africa and founder of Impact Sierra Leone organization. I have insight on gender issues both in the United States and in West Africa. There seems to be a common factor between the two regions in terms of far less opportunities for women as compared to men. The playing field has yet to be leveled because we see too often that a woman’s skills or experiences are considered less important than her gender.
As a global leader, I join in the fight against injustices, stereotypes, discrimination and inhumanity. Due to gender by promoting empowerment programs by empowering other women to have a voice. We are impacting the future generation of leaders who will ensure a world of inclusiveness and equality where all are valued. It is quite remarkable to see the various events planned to celebrate International Women’s Day with such a powerful theme.
My personal view is that the chains of bias must be broken in every facet in life from the medical field, political field, business field, and career fields but most especially globally. There needs to be a total mindset shift to eradicate the notion that women are inferior. Women’s equality will be the driving force to more positive change in the world.
The poet Maya Angelou penned a powerful poem titled, “Phenomenal Woman” and indeed this is true. The fight for women inclusion must never end and needs to be championed by every citizen. Breaking the bias must happen at every level from the executive office to the most remote village in rural West Africa. We need more awareness, resources and policies set in place. And this can be done via training workshops, women’s equality groups, social media platforms and within the workplace.
Much like how we won the war on slavery and overcame many setbacks from the Civil Rights Movement. We can win the war on Women’s Inequality and do it Together. To leave you with my favorite quote, “United We Stand, Together We Rise”.
Let us stand up, raise our voices, take action and join forces to erase gender inequality worldwide.”
Saibatu Mansaray Speaks On Breaking The Bias
Saibatu Mansaray is a former White House Senior Executive, US Army Major (Rtd) and Medical Practitioner. Saibatu Mansaray speaks with Business Africa Online (BAO) on her thoughts on this year’s international women’s day theme: #BreakingTheBias. Excerpt.
As an African and Muslim woman who moved to the United States at 20 years of age and immediately joined the United States Army. I understand the bias I carried with me into a foreign land and the military. Everyday, questioning myself given my background. But my determination to overcome my self-imposed bias and that of those around me, pushed me to over perform and prove that I am supposed to be here and will leave a mark. I got system support in the military as a woman to compete and complete military training courses that were mostly male dominated. I remember being in a few extremely challenging military courses with very high attrition rates. But upon graduation I was the only woman standing alongside the men.
In my determination to always overperform in order to break the bias and glass ceilings. I was the first woman the U.S. Army had ever assigned to the White House. To serve as White House Physician Assistant and Tactical Medical Officer to President Barack Obama and Vice President Biden. I was the first woman to be promoted early to the rank of Major as a physician assistant. I was the first medical officer and to date the only to serve as military aide to two Vice Presidents of the United States. In my own small way I created a gender equal world during my service in the military and continue to do so as CEO and Founder of The Mansaray Foundation. “Together we can all break the bias!”
Saibautu Mansaray is former White House senior executive, a physician assistant, CEO and Founder of The Mansaray Foundation. A Muslimah and retired decorated United States Army Officer. After over 20 years of humble service in the United States, she has chosen to return to Sierra Leone to make a difference.
US Embassy Kenya and inABLE partner to Launch “Creating Tomorrow’s Business Leaders”
US Embassy Kenya Cultural Affairs Officer with inABLE Computer Lab Students, Chris Machin, Guest Bernard Chiira, Director Innovate Now-AT2030 And School Administrators (Photo: inABLE)
The US Embassy in Kenya inABLE has initiated an 8-month Creating Tomorrow’s Business Leaders project. Aimed at equipping blind youth with computer and soft skills to develop entrepreneurial skills. And the specific mitigation competencies that blind people use to participate in the workforce.
This project includes 60 blind youth (40 girls and 20 boys) in Kenya aged 15-30 from 4 counties (Siaya, Thika, Meru & Mombasa). Who are presently enrolled in the inABLE Computer-Labs-for-the-Blind program. Using hadley.edu participating blind and low vision youth have access to online resources. Aimed at sharpening their skills in mobility, employment readiness, daily house chores, personal hygiene and even social engagement with the general community.
The youth have been very adaptive to the process, and are very eager to learn more about employment possibilities. For example, Jacinta, a 15-year-old visually impaired grade seven pupil at St. Oda school for the Blind. Top students in her class and is very passionate about technology. She describes the value of this project: “As a blind learner who has had difficulties in accessing many learning resources. I am excited to be part of this project, and I want to take full advantage of accessible technology to boost my studies. And also learn about other useful life skills such as the best way to land employment.”
After learning basic computing, browsing, and internet skills, as well as the application software to be used in the training, including the Forsythe Center for Employment and Entrepreneurship platform. The participating students are learning more advanced skills such as:
(1) Online career research.
(2) Identifying business opportunities online.
(3) Advanced Forsythe Center for Employment and Entrepreneurship.
(4) Exploring work possibilities for the blind in the business world.
At the completion of this project, these youth will be equipped with assistive technology competence, computing skills, basic life disciplines, and employment preparedness to give them confidence to leverage available. And accessible digital resources that can set themselves apart when seeking employment or becoming self-employed.
This partnership between the US Embassy in Kenya and inABLE supports the nonprofit’s mission to empower Persons with Disability. Through computer assistive technology and its advocacy work that envisions a world where every individual has all-inclusive access to the same educational, technological, and employment opportunities.
Blind students demonstrate their computer assertive technology skills.
Chidiogo Akunyili-Parr: Building a community of empowered women with the power of ROAR
Chidiogo Akunyili-Parr is the Founder of She ROARs, a community of empowered women across the world unleashing our ROAR. She is the Chief Community & Communications officer at Ubuntu Foundation driving the Ubuntu communities around the world to anchor the spirit and values of Ubuntu.
She is a World Economic Forum Global Leadership Fellow. A fellow at the Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance; An Atlantic Dialogue Emerging Leader. And Associate Fellow of Nigerian Leadership Initiative.
Named ‘100 most inspiring women in Nigeria’ by The Guardian. ’100 most influential Young Africans’ by Africa Youth Awards. ‘100 most Influential Nigerians’ by Avance Media. And ‘Young Professional of the Year’ by Future Awards Africa. Chidiogo draws from over 15 years of professional experience in Community building; Business development; Intercultural dialogue; Strategy and Management consulting. Having lived and worked across Africa, the Middle East, Asia, North America and Europe. Speaking 7 of the world’s languages including Chinese, English, French, German, Igbo, Italian and Spanish. Invaluable tools that bridge lives, people and their global realities.
Chidiogo Akunyili-Parr is also a writer, speaker, storyteller, and movement builder. Who is impacting the global narrative based on her belief and championing the power of people to change the world. Her philosophy is founded on the humanist African concept of Ubuntu: ‘I am because we are’ upholding and celebrating our shared humanity.
Her recently released book: ‘I am Because We Are: An African Mother’s Fight for the Soul of a Nation‘ illuminates the role of kinship, family, and the individual’s place in society. While revealing a life of courage, how community shaped it, and the web of humanity that binds us all.
She holds a B.A. International Relations & Political Science, UPenn & Sciences Po Paris; M.A. International Relations & Economics, SAIS Johns Hopkins; Executive Leadership Program, Master in Global Leadership, World Economic Forum with certificates from INSEAD, Columbia University, Wharton School, London Business School, China Europe International Business School, and Cornell Tech.