A motivational speaker, Ms Zairi Atika, on Wednesday urged women to train and improve themselves for political and leadership roles.

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She gave the advice at a five-day leadership enhancement seminar for women from 20 African news agencies, holding in Rabat, Moroccan.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event, which ends on Friday, aims at developing women’s soft skills, strengthening their knowledge and leadership abilities towards addressing the challenges facing the continent.

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It also aims at positioning the women for the effective running of their respective media organisations.

The Atlantic Federation of African Press Agencies (FAAPA) is organising the seminar, under the theme: “Women’s Leadership: Needs and Strategies of African News Agencies” at the African Centre for the Training of Journalists, which is hosted by the Moroccan News Agency (MAP).

The 21 participants, comprising journalists, editors and executive officers are from countries including Ghana, Namibia, Togo, Cape Verde, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria.

Speaking at the training, Atika, an Expert-Coach in Strategic Personal Branding in Morocco, said that becoming a leader involves much more than being out in a leadership role.

Atika said that leadership “involves acquiring skills and adapting one’s style to the requirements of that role.

Her advice revolved around assertiveness, work-life balance with an equal life partner, keeping focused and committed to your career instead of subconsciously withdrawing from opportunities in advance of the necessity to do so (to have children, for instance).

“You must empower yourself by understanding your strengths and using them to overcome your weaknesses.

“You must also engage others – seek advice from those senior to you, motivate your peers and coach your staff for success.

“You must make complacency your enemy but apply passion, performance and persistence.

Atika advised participants to view themselves positively, view the diplomatic profession positively and to communicate such views as constructively as they can.

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She also advised them to learn to exercise their communicative rights and fulfil the communication responsibilities in a sensibly balanced way.

“Remember that you have the right to question and to criticise, but do so responsibly, in a human-dignifying manner.

“Handle differences of opinion in a constructive way,’’ she said cautioning that “negative talk” tends to predominate or often dominate in face-to-face diplomatic interactions.

He urged participants to “treat others with respect by being as communicatively friendly as you can and choose your words on the basis of their peace power rather than on their strategic values’’. (NAN)


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