In a bid to ensure that young girls and women in Nigeria have equal opportunities to thrive in society the developmental partnership and mission of Junior Achievement of Nigeria (JAN) and Union Bank have sustained the LEAD programmers for girls.

The Executive Director of JAN, Foluso Gbadamosi disclose that the partners, for eight years, have been advancing JAN’s Leadership Empowerment Achievement Development (LEAD) Camp intervention programme, an initiative that inspires and empowers young girls to become women leaders.

According to her,” The LEAD Camp’s latest edition — the 8th collaboration between JAN and Union Bank — held recently in Lagos recorded participation from over 300 girls.

“The week-long event was used to provide guidance and to improve the skill sets of the girls in areas of financial literacy, entrepreneurship, technology, coding, career development, general health and wellness, sexual reproductive health, creative arts, and entertainment.

“During the programme, the girls learnt and received mentorship from some outstanding women in the private and public sectors across the globe — courtesy of Junior Achievement of Nigeria’s association with its global counterpart, Junior Achievement Worldwide (JAW).

“The LEAD Camp is to demonstrate that regardless of their socio-economic status, background or career path they choose to take, young girls and women can be successful with the right guidance, mindset, skill sets, and network,” Gbadamosi said. “And we will continue to inspire and provide them with a world of possibilities to thrive excellently.”

In his remarks, Union Bank’s Brand and Marketing Officer, Ogochukwu Ekezie-Ekaidem, noted that for African nations that are determined to achieve the UN’s gender parity target in less than a decade, JAN and Union Bank have laid a blueprint worthy of emulation. She added that this portends hope that the dream of a gender-equal world can indeed become a reality in no distant time.

“This partnership reinforces our commitment to the push for gender equality and our focus on supporting the girl-child,” Ekezie-Ekaidem said. “We are proud to see the impact of the programme on the young girls across the country, and we commend the efforts of the JAN team who work tirelessly to impact them.”

“The partners of the programme agreed that the success of initiatives like the LEAD Camp is a critical indicator of the progress Africa and Nigeria can attain if more public and private organisations, independent societal bodies, and future-forward individuals would play similar active roles in ensuring that women and girls enjoy a level-playing field in the society.

“JAN and Union Banks believe that with the progress in establishing an equal world of rights and opportunities for all gender still at a snail’s pace and posing a great obstacle for many nations, achieving gender parity has expectedly taken centre stage in global efforts towards sustainable development goals.

“To this end, the LEAD Camp partners believe that providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies, and also benefit societies and humanity at large.

“The programme, now in its 21st year, has developed and advanced the career of over 1,000 girls in Nigeria, producing influential alumni like Nkechi Eze-Balogun, founder of Asoebi Bella; Oduolayinka Osunloye, youth advisor at IREX; Oyin Olugbile-Adewale, founder of Parisian Consult; among others”.

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