NGFL Roundtable Lagos: Empowering Moments with Nkechi Ali-Balogun

The final stop for the AWLO Next Generation Female Leaders (NGFL) Roundtable to count down to African Women in Leadership Conference was held in Lagos Nigeria. It was hosted by PR Expert Mrs. Nkechi Ali-Balogun. One gets the sense of a strong, opinionated and determined personality from Mrs. Nkechi just by meeting her.

She Challenged the girls to be Resilient Leaders narrating her unstoppable journey. One that is identifiable in her strides and accolades. She overdoes; is zealous and tireless. In her words, “When I retire I don’t want to be like one of those old people reading newspapers”

With no exaggeration, the gap between the older and younger generation can no longer be denied; young women do not have the guidance and mentorship of female leaders due to this disconnect. It was further established when Mrs. Nkechi asked the ladies if they had access to female leaders in Nigeria which the answer came back in the negative.

The girls who were fascinated; were eager to learn how this fascinating figure balances her work and family. She is proud to be identified as mother wife, and leader. She stated how those two parts of her life are different and how she balances both by not mixing them.

“I don’t want things handed down to me, I want to earn it. Women need not anyone to validate themselves”

She was impressed by the quality of the next generation female leaders and is willing to open more doors for them beginning from inviting them to the NECCI Roundtable she’s organizing which will have in attendance mentors such as Oby Ezekwesili, RMD, Ibukun Awosika, Adebola Williams, lanre Olusola and others.

Mrs. Ali-Balogun who is the Lead consultant of NECCI Ltd had wise and encouraging words on being a resilient Leader who never gets tired with examples from her life experiences.

She highlighted the importance of girls owning and being confident in themselves and their vision in life. There is need for the ladies to understand their vision and arm themselves with the skills needed to achieve that vision.

“Hold your head high and stop looking for favors” she said. “Being a female does not mean you are less than the male“. She believes in the equality of the sexes and encouraged the ladies to work as hard

She stressed on the need for the ladies to be decisive, that nobody takes an indecisive leader seriously and indecision affects your dream and vision. “Decide on the path of glory and stand by it.” she concluded.

As a Leader, to her, a good leader is one who “grows peers and not slaves” and one who “develops people she can be proud of”.

When questioned on – betrayal after investing in people, she said; “Don’t ever feel bad that you invested in people. Don’t feel bad even when people betray you”, that she is a staunch believer in investing in people. She believes that it is better to invest time and money in people which she says is more valuable investment than riches.

AWLO’s Founder Dr. Elisha Attai also expressed his pleasure at the exceptional things the ladies are doing to better their communities. He expressed how the apparent disconnect between the old and young generation led to AWLO’s decision to bridge this gap and also create a platform that would initiate this process.

He said this would not be the end of AWLO’s journey with the ladies and promised that it would indeed bridge the gap; as this became an eye-opener to opportunities and expectations of young women. AWLO hopes to include the young women in their Leadership Education Program; to grow their capacity to get funding for their initiatives as many of them expressed how a lack of funding has been a major downer.

AWLO Lagos State Chapter was represented by Mrs. Annie Essienette; an executive at IBM, who also contributed her business advice. She stressed the need for the girls to display due diligence in business by counting their cost, identifying needs, and having more than just ‘plan A’.

The Young Leaders are gearing up to attend the AWLO’s 10th Anniversary Conference; then Annual African Women in Leadership Conference which they have received their Free all-access pass.

The Conference is a solution to the gap in women’s leadership in Africa. AWLO has initiated a movement that changes the narrative in women’s leadership in Africa through capacity building, and engaging stakeholders in the initiation of solutions to involve more women in leadership.

This year’s African Women in Leadership Conference opens with a reception on the 19th of July in honor of the Vice President of Liberia; Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor, a member of African Women in Leadership Organisation. This is a major milestone for AWLO; producing a female leader in that capacity.

This will be followed by the 2 days Conference that converges women of African Descent for leadership development. Not only does it provide women a platform to network but to brainstorm for personal development. It’s a case of ‘birds of a feather flock together’. Whereas it is important to talk about women forming think-tanks and support systems, it is more important to have them actually do it.

Women getting involved in creating opportunities for themselves. This is not a group of wailers, but women bringing their own seat to the table.

Asides from bonding moments, our speakers are policy makers, outstanding professionals, innovators, from all over Africa and the diaspora. We are going to engage in enlightening conversations and create opportunities for women to excel through Learning sessions and networking.

One of the high points of this event is the unveiling and decoration of ‘100 Amazons’ a compendium of women who have risen above the setbacks that beset women in Africa to become shining examples in their field.

African Women in Leadership Conference also inspires ‘the African Movement’ and will feature Exhibitions by indigenous brands and an African fashion Show headlined by the Nigerian Brand Kiks Place.

Here is a link to register for African Women in Leadership Conference: awlo.org/anniversary/registration 

Here are photos from the NGFL Roundtable Lagos:

Mrs. Nkechi Ali-Balogun

Dr. Elisha Attai – Founder AWLO


NGFL Roundtable Port Harcourt: Relatable Conversations with Mrs. Manuela George-Izunwa

The next generation female leaders in Port Harcourt were treated to relatable conversations at a little cozy restaurant by their Host Mrs. Manuela Izunwa. The Next Generation Female Leaders Roundtable is AWLO’s efforts to bridge the gap of leadership to the next generation.

This exemplifies a true taste of leadership. Leading not from high-rise buildings but creating an avenue for those who are being led to glean from their leader in a relatable environment.

Our Leaders are our guiding light to enable us to live up to our full potential. Those who are not laxed about replicating more leaders. Mrs. Manuela Izunwa is a true embodiment of this leadership expectation.

Mrs. Manuela Izunwa

From her background as the convener of Women in Leadership Conference, and Founder of Girls Organisation for Leadership Development this was not new to her. She warmed up to the girls as if she had known them prior to this time.

She was as open as possible in sharing personal lessons from her life. From dealing with her body-image as a plus size woman when she was starting out in her career to overcoming it to be able to realize her full potential. She encouraged the young leaders to overcome self-doubt and not live in the shadow of people’s opinion; to be able to live up to their full potential.

In the age of cyber-bullying and bullying generally some of the ladies attested to being discouraged by people’s backlash. One of the ladies Ms. Beauty Martins a 21 year-old Student, TedX Licensee and Tyre Recycler told her story of having a hard time penetrating her industry as a tyre recycler. She was met with a hard time dealing with men who dominate the industry and rejection in some cases where they bluntly refused to work with her because of her gender.

Mrs. Izunwa also weighed in using herself as a case-study while she served as the Commissioner of Women Affairs in Rivers State Nigeria.  She said that women had no need to prove themselves, as is it mostly the case being in a male dominated sector.

She further explained that it is not realistic to want to give 50-50 attention to work and family, but rather to strive for spending quality time with family and friends.

The Founder of African Women in Leadership Organisation Dr Elisha Attai also gave a male perspective to issues such as women being sabotaged especially in cases where the legitimacy of their career success is being questioned.

Dr. Elisha Attai

He encouraged women to keep excelling in spite of naysayers. That at that point it would be beyond requesting for a 35% or 50% affirmative action but their works duly speaking for them and more women earning opportunities as opposed to fulfilling a quota.

He also encouraged women to form allies, to network, and bond so that they’ll to begin to reap from their relationship. In his words ‘You have to connect to collect’.

R-L: Mrs Eno Davies, Mrs Uzor, Ms. Ekemini Akpakpan

The AWLO Rivers State Chapter was also duly represented by their Chapter Secretary and Publicity Secretary; Mrs. Eno Davies and Mrs. Uzor. The Chapter Secretary piqued interest in Hetty Coconut World; Ms. Henrietta Nwanji’s Coconut-Shell recycling business. Ms. Henrietta makes bespoke jewelry from coconut shells and was offered a funding of one Hundred Thousand Naira to help her take her business to the next level which she said she needed to enable her acquire equipment to increase her efficiency.

Ms. Ekemini Akpakpan

AWLO is working on creating more sustainable opportunities for the Next Generation Female Leaders. The GM, Ms. Ekemini Akpakpan who coordinated the project, assured the ladies of opportunities to come for personal development and business growth, as it is one of AWLO’s goals to channel the leadership potential of young women which she is a product of.

The Young Leaders are gearing up to attend the AWLO’s 10th Anniversary Conference; then Annual African Women in Leadership Conference which they have received their Free all-access pass.

The Conference is a solution to the gap in women’s leadership in Africa. AWLO has initiated a movement that changes the narrative in women’s leadership in Africa through capacity building, and engaging stakeholders in the initiation of solutions to involve more women in leadership.

This year’s African Women in Leadership Conference opens with a reception on the 19th of July in honor of the Vice President of Liberia; Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor, a member of African Women in Leadership Organisation. This is a major milestone for AWLO; producing a female leader in that capacity.

This will be followed by the 2 days Conference that converges women of African Descent for leadership development. Not only does it provide women a platform to network but to brainstorm for personal development. It’s a case of ‘birds of a feather flock together’. Whereas it is important to talk about women forming think-tanks and support systems, it is more important to have them actually do it.

Women getting involved in creating opportunities for themselves. This is not a group of wailers, but women bringing their own seat to the table.

Asides from bonding moments, our speakers are policy makers, outstanding professionals, innovators, from all over Africa and the diaspora. We are going to engage in enlightening conversations and create opportunities for women to excel through Learning sessions and networking.

One of the high points of this event is the unveiling and decoration of ‘100 Amazons’ a compendium of women who have risen above the setbacks that beset women in Africa to become shining examples in their field.

African Women in Leadership Conference also inspires ‘the African Movement’ and will feature Exhibitions by indigenous brands and an African fashion Show headlined by the Nigerian Brand Kiks Place.

Here is a link to register for African Women in Leadership Conference: awlo.org/anniversary/registration 

See Pictures from NGFL Roundtable Port Harourt


AWLO 10TH ANNIVERSARY COUNTDOWN kick-starts with NGFL Roundtable Abuja

It’s been a yearning for African Women In Leadership Organisation (AWLO), to raise young female leaders and involve more experienced leaders in raising them. The Youth Council of African Women in leadership Organisation has been the anchor for raising young leaders however there is a need to harness the experience of Women Leaders in raising them.

The gap between the younger and older women leaders has created a disconnect. It is our responsibility to ensure that values are handed down and It is important for the young leaders to glean from the wealth of experience of older leaders.

Our hope is for their efforts to be consolidated as many young leaders are already contributing to their community. We hope for the experienced leaders to create tangible opportunities for them in addition to sharing experiences.

The Next Generation Female Leaders Roundtable; NGFL Abuja held yesterday was finally a fruition of our desires. The Young Leaders were excited to finally have an experienced leader who can walk in their shoes.  The Director General of NAPTIP; Barr. Julie Okah-Donli who hosted the Roundtable hit the nail on the head as she delved into real life issues that stop the women from owning the leadership narrative. She shared overwhelming statistics, and buttressed that the female folk have been marginalized for too long.

Barr. Julie shared her milestones as an example of a woman who has conquered the leadership benchmark for women. Her experience ranged from being a student and breaking out of the ‘women are not as smart’ mold and bagging so many accolades, to serving in the capacity of the Executive Assistant to the Governor of Bayelsa State; where she created opportunities for more women to get involved in Leadership. She advised the ladies to be their sisters’ keepers and raise each other up, rising above competitiveness.

To crown it up, she opened opportunities for the young leaders to partner with NAPTIP. The ladies shared about their impressive projects, and Barr. Julie was moved to get involved. She committed to speaking engagements, NAPTIP’s full involvement in their projects, and teaming up with them for NAPTIP’s Community Development efforts.

The Ladies were given ‘a free pass’ to the AWLO 10th Anniversary Conference, as this was a first in a series of events in a build up to the Conference. The Founder of AWLO who not only explained the importance of creating such exemplary leadership opportunities for young women to emulate, but to open doors for them for global relevance for young women

The Founder of AWLO; Dr. Elisha Attai

The 10th Anniversary Conference a.k.a The 10th Annual African Women in Leadership Conference is a solution to the gap in women’s leadership in Africa. AWLO has initiated a movement that changes the narrative in women’s leadership in Africa through capacity building, and engaging stakeholders in the initiation of solutions to involve more women in leadership.

This year’s African Women in Leadership Conference opens with a reception on the 19th of July in honor of the Vice President of Liberia; Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor, a member of African Women in Leadership Organisation. This is a major milestone for AWLO; producing a female leader in that capacity.

This will be followed by the 2 days Conference that converges women of African Descent for leadership development. Not only does it provide women a platform to network but to brainstorm for personal development. It’s a case of ‘birds of a feather flock together’. Whereas it is important to talk about women forming think-tanks and support systems, it is more important to have them actually do it.

Women getting involved in creating opportunities for themselves. This is not a group of wailers, but women bringing their own seat to the table.

Asides from bonding moments, our speakers are policy makers, outstanding professionals, innovators, from all over Africa and the diaspora. We are going to engage in enlightening conversations and create opportunities for women to excel through Learning sessions and networking.

One of the high points of this event is the unveiling and decoration of ‘100 Amazons’ a compendium of women who have risen above the setbacks that beset women in Africa to become shining examples in their field.

African Women in Leadership Conference also inspires ‘the African Movement’ and will feature Exhibitions by indigenous brands and an African fashion Show headlined by the Nigerian Brand Kiks Place.

Yes, this is going to be a mix of learning and fun!

Are you still wondering what to do next? Start by Registering for African Women in Leadership Conference via www.awlo.org/anniversary and create your #AWLOAT10 DP via  http://adp.awlo.org/

See more photos from AWLO Next Generation Female Leaders Roundtable in Abuja:


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