The immediate past President of Liberia and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, would be the keynote speaker at the 2018 yearly leadership and mentoring conference of the Women in Successful Careers (WISCAR) scheduled to hold on Saturday November 24, 2018 at The MUSON Center, Onikan, Lagos by 9am.
According to a statement, Sirleaf is expected to spur the required change in women towards participation and contribution to national development at the event themed “Enriching Lives by Telling Our Own Stories.The conference would feature a range of additional speakers and panelists, including Ambassador Nozipho January Bardill, an international diplomat, corporate relations specialist and chair, Nelson Mandela University Council; Ms. Hadiza Bala, Usman, a public administrator and managing director of Nigerian Ports Authority; Mrs. Polly Alakija, an artist, author and chair, Lagos State Council of Arts & Culture; Mrs. Kofo Akinkugbe, the chief executive officer of award-winning Secure ID Group; and Mrs. Aisha Ahmad, a deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Also, Mr. Tunji Lardner, writer, TED Fellow & Governance Consultant; Mrs. Amina Oyagbola, WISCAR founder, corporate executive and business mentor and many others will be present to give the audience front-row insights into the challenges and solutions of leadership and developing women to build a better nation.
The statement announced that innovative Nigerian playwright and creative director of the award-winning play, HEARWORD!, Ifeoma Fafunwa will also present thought-provoking interludes in the course of the programme. A notable organisational effectiveness consultant and social justice activist, Habiba Balogun, would compare the event.
In the statement made available to The Guardian, Oyagbola, spoke about the conference:”This year, we have carefully selected a theme that builds on our core focus on mentorship. The mentor is a storyteller, one who draws on her own life experience as tools and signposts to provide guidance on what to do, what to avoid doing, and ways to do it successfully. We have invited President Johnson to share her wealth of experience in governance, mentorship, empowerment and nation building.”
According to her, under the leadership of President Sirleaf, Liberia was the only country out of 54 on our continent to improve in every single category and sub-category of the Ibrahim Index of African Governance.
“Since leaving office in 2017, she has become a highly acclaimed motivator and advocate for peace and justice, and she continues to be a force for meaningful change and progress in Africa. During this pivotal moment in our nation’s history, and in keeping with this year’s theme, we seek to have our lives enriched by actively listening to her stories and wisdom.
“All Nigerians have a lot to learn from her as an African leader, a successful politician, and as a stateswoman. In many parts of West Africa, the “Griot” is an oral historian, a repository of oral traditions and communal achievements. President Sirleaf’s role as keynote speaker is to be the “Griot” of our political advancement,” Oyagbola said.
She disclosed that the conference would spur change in women and for women and improve the level of participation and contribution of 50 percent of our population to the extent required for our nation to become a first world country.
“We expect the stories our mentees hear to enrich them enough for them to become change makers for their families, their communities and the nation at large. The positive changes we sow will surely be reaped in a brighter, more peaceful and more progressive future for Nigeria and Africa at large”, she added
WISCAR’s Executive Secretary, Fabia Ogunmekan said the recommendations from the conference would be published in a communiqué to drive the required legal, cultural, and policy changes for growth and national development.
WISCAR is a non-profit 12-month structured mentoring programme focused on empowering and developing professional women in diverse careers in the formal and informal economy to contribute to nation building in Nigeria. “Now in its 11th year, WISCAR is continuing its tradition of annual outreach to working women aimed at mentoring them for professional growth, leadership success, and healthy family life. For WISCAR, leadership is achieving a deep resonance between self-leadership, interpersonal leadership and organizational leadership,” the statement read.
WISAR was established with the sole purpose of building capacity through leadership training, mentorship and advocacy for the empowerment of women for nation building. The NGO believes that educating, mentoring and empowering women in Nigeria is the catalyst required to match the rapid socio-economic growth witnessed by other nations across the world.