By Tinuade Adeshiyan
Lagos, – No fewer than 300 women from Nigeria, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Benin Republic and Togo took part in an empowerment discussion organised by the Cameroon Consulate in Lagos. The empowerment discussion was organised by the Consulate General of Cameroon in collaboration with the United Nations Information Centre in Lagos to celebrate the International Women’s Day on Saturday night in Lagos. The discussion had the theme: “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change”. The Cameroon Consular General, Mrs Bessem Manga, said that achieving equality and empowering women remained “an unfinished business”, adding that there was the need for women to put more effort in order to contribute to nation building. Manga, who is the first female Consul General of Cameroon in Nigeria, said women needed to be included in decision making as a part of the policy to increase women participation in nation building.
According to her, Lagos is known as a place that never goes to sleep and women living there are doing extremely wonderful and touching lives. “Ever since I took office, I have encountered displaced women from various countries, and young mothers who have aspirations, even corporate ladies willing to do more to uplift their lives. “The idea of this event is to gather the statistics of the kind of women we have in our community, what they are and do and facilitate them through empowerment discussion,” she said. Mrs Toki Mabogunje, the Deputy President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said women were not competing with men, but all they wanted was gender balance. Mabogunje, who was represented by Mrs Adenike Shobajo, said there were women who had played extra-ordinary roles and had achieved affirmative goals in history. “I salute the courage and resilience of Nigeria women so far who have proved to be exceptional in their performance, I have no doubt that the country will benefit from them,” she said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the participants were taught how to turn wastes to wealth and make money from the country’s natural resources. The panel discussants were: Mrs Toki Mabogunje, the Deputy President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Tokunbo Habeeb and the Lagos State Coordinator of Raw Materials Research and Development Council.
Others were Mrs Matilda Taiwo of Good Stitches (Waste Recycling Company), Mrs Julie Momah, Zonal Director (South-West) of National Board for Technology Incubation and Mrs Tita Young, representative of International Women Society.