Bukola Bello-Jaiyesimi studied Cultural Diversity Awareness in   Scotland and this broadened her horizon about the world. The  Pan-Africanist and multiple award recipient is a die-hard advocate for the inclusion of women in nation building and mentoring of the younger generation. Bukky, as she is fondly called, is the Founder of Women in Nation Building-WINB and Group Executive Director, DW Realtors, an international real estate development company. Enjoy our chat with her!  

BY JOSEPHINE IGBINOVIA

Do women truly have the competence for nation building?
Well, it is not a question of whether they have the capability because women have been involved in nation building from inception. When you talk of the family unit, women take care of their homes. So, women have been there all these while. In taking up real responsibilities also, women are capable. President Sirleaf Johnson of Liberia is a woman and has been there for years now. The Chancellor of Germany is also a woman and the President of Malawi, Joyce Banda, is a woman. So, what are we talking about? We have some Nigerian women in top positions in the World Bank. We have had and are still having women as managing directors of banks in Nigeria. So, the question is not if, but why are more women not given the opportunity to do so.

Who then takes care of the home front if begin to pursue nation-building responsibilities?
When the woman sets out to go to work in the morning and the man also goes to work, their home doesn’t suffer simply because they went to work. The woman’s office is not in the kitchen as people say. When our parents were bringing us up, I can’t remember my mother sitting in the house for 24-hours. So, there must have been strategies she put in place to manage her home front,   career and her husband to be able to achieve her goals in life. My mum used to go to work at 7.am and return at night. So, how did she manage that?

Why are you passionate about women in public life?
In my life time, I want to see women scale new heights. You see, women are dynamic in nature, are able to multi-task and are innovative. With the energy and dynamism that women have been endowed with, their role in nation building cannot be undermined but to be amplified and supported by all.

What are some of the achievements and potentials for the annual Women in Africa Conference organised by WINB?

Good governance has been on the rise in the nations of Africa as Africa now witnesses women taking on roles as president of nations, corporate and business leaders where jobs and opportunities are created. There are a lot of untapped opportunities for the reinvention of social emancipation in Africa as decision makers could work closely with non-governmental organizations in the nation building process.

There is need for more women to be involved in business, trade, governance and other sectors of the African economy. In addition, women organizations can also be catalysts for development in Africa.

Is there an inspiration   behind what you’re doing?
African Women Foundation for Nation Building, though founded by women, is for women, men, youths and children in Africa. Women need to take their place in world economy and by so doing, the lives of children and the role of men and youths can be further enhanced. We want to rejuvenate, reposition and reinvigorate the role of the African woman in the nation building process across sectors of the economy.

What do you think can be done to address the rising spate of violence against women and girls?
In Ghana, the government created specific agencies and ministries for that purpose. We have worked with those agencies. At midnight, they can pick your calls because every citizen has the agencies’ phone numbers. They have people on grounds that are ready to rush out and salvage a situation. If every nation in Africa will dedicate such agencies to women and children, we will have some level progress.

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