Pan African Girl Child Education Campaign
In line with our Core Value of Educational Development, Environmental Sustainability, Alternative Conflict Resolution, Advocacy on Good Governance etc, Boss Friendship Club in partnership with World Dynasty Pageant and other relevant stakeholders, has initiated the Pan African Girl Child Education Campaign.
At the Flag-off of the campaign in Abuja, the Nigeria Capital and the African Headquarters of the Project, the District Governor of Boss Friendship Club in Nigeria who is also the International Coordinator of the Campaign, Sir. (Dr) Edet B. Ekpenyong, FBILC in his welcome address said the Club through the campaign aims to support, contribute, encourage and sponsor over 100,000 Girl Children in Nigeria and other African Countries, to ensure they achieve their educational pursuits which would enable them build their leadership potentials and contribute in the development of Africa.
Other activities lined up for the day were the presentation of Architectural Design of De-Boss Hall of Fame (De-Memoirs Dome), which was performed by Architect Chibuike Opara, while Dr Dan Mou presented the Keynote Address. Dr Edet recalled that in November 2013, the BFC Board began its first strategic planning process to build a solid foundation for the club’s early growth, adding that the plan, with four strategic initiatives to guide the BFC’s development was reviewed by the club’s leadership, which led to the creation of a volunteer implementation team. “The initiatives guided the collective efforts of the BFC, staff, Board and Membership which resulted in the initiative of Girl Child Empowerment in Africa and De-Boss Legendary Award was initiated to serve as a platform where leaders are rewarded and encouraged for outstanding leadership or Good Governance they rendered to the society.
With the challenge of transiting from monumental progress to transformative impact on the society which requires aligning and scaling up corporate sustainability efforts and partnership on a massive scale, Dr. Ekpenyong stated that the Pan African Girl Child Education Campaign would put forward, this new ideology and begin a process of engaging business participants and key stakeholders in human capital development in Africa.
The Chairman of the event, who is also the Chairman Board of Trustees of the Boss Friendship Club in Nigeria, His Royal Highness Alh. (Dr) Shaban Audu Nizazo III, FBILC pointed out that educating a girl child has a transformational effect that changes communities and societies. He stressed that education empowers girls by introducing ways of thinking about traditions and challenges of traditionally held gender roles.
Dr Dan Mou who presented the Keynote Address Titled: Girl Child Education, Democratic governance and sustainable development in Africa and pointed out that in the last few decades, gender and women groups of all kinds have emerged across the world calling and demanding for equal rights and participation in all facets of political, social, educational and cultural life of their nations and societies.
He expressed dismay that despite this, the Girl Child Education problem has persisted. He therefore, suggested that to alleviate the issue of Girl Child Education in the country, government must take basic steps to evolve legal, ideological and policy approach. It was Mou’s view that there should be mass campaigns to address the stark ignorance that even now relates to the problem of girl child education, stressing that these could be done by different media outlets and on the flows of our national legislatures and board rooms. He suggested among others that intensive research needs to be sponsored in the various countries and comparatively on the continent of Africa to come out with workable frameworks and policy options to address this problem. Rural programmes for enlightening the parents on the advantages of treating the girl child and the boy child the same when it comes to making educational and other household or family decisions. Information is lacking on these matters, especially in rural Africa.
In addition, he said the level of poverty and massive unemployment in Africa is further compounding the girl child education problems. When social, economic and other adverse conditions confront the family, the chances are that the girl child becomes the ultimate loser. While this is not right, governments in Africa must address the adverse social conditions in their nations and societies, he said.
Our way to tackle the girl child education is through legislation. Laws must be made that fully protect the children in our nations male and female. The existing legislation must also be strictly enforced; there is need to make education free and compulsory in African nations at least up to secondary levels. This will ensure that all children are in school.
Government must set up effective structures for monitoring and evaluating all government policies when made. When this is not effectively done, the good intentions of public policies may never be realized as desired.
There is need to involve the citizens and citizen groups in policy agenda formulation, making, implementation and monitoring and evaluation. Citizens and citizen groups must be trusted and taken into confidence on these matters to promote ownership, cooperation and even the legitimacy of those policies and governments in Africa and policies must be designed to accommodate the different social cleavages in the nations of Africa. Policies, such as Federal Character, help to accomplish this. Africa cannot continue to waste resources and lives on internal conflicts and wars generated by the inability of leaders to manage the different social cleavages in their nations. The questions of who gets what, when and how, must be carefully addressed, Dr Mou added.
High point of the occasion was the official flag-off of the Pan African Girl Child Education Campaign by HRH Shaban Audu, Board Chairman of BFC and the presentation of writing materials to students of Great Heights Academy, Abuja. The students received customized writing materials including long notebooks and biros.
There was also presentation of De-Boss Legendary Awards to deserving personalities among whom, were the Commissioner of Police, Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria Mr. Wilson Inalegwu, Engr. Shamm Kolo, of Consumer Protection Council, Mr Emmanuel Njoku, the MD/CEO Prezzo Shed Investment Ltd., Engr. (Ogbueshi) Anthony Chinedu Molokwu, Director, Yolas Consultants Ltd. and Chief Innocent Nwabueze, Director, Federal Civil Service Commission.
First on the list of award recipients was HRH Alh. (Dr) Shaban Audu Nizazo III, FBILC, the Etsu and Paramount Ruler of Kwali Area Council in Federal Capital Territory, as Life Member, Sir (Dr) Edet Bassey Ekpenyong FBILC, as Life Member, Sir (Dr) Dan Mou FBILC, as Honorary Member, Sir Olufadeju E. Olagoke MBILC, as Active Member.
In a goodwill message, the FCT Police Commissioner, represented at the event by Mr Tony Olafu, commended the Boss Friendship Club for its foresight in championing the cause of girl child education in Africa, explaining that when you train a woman, it will go a long way to enhance security of a nation because women are basically one of the custodians of the family. Also speaking, Mr A. O. Ibezim, who represented the Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps, applauded the efforts of the BFC and called for cooperation between it and the FRSC.