Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili,
Alex Enumah in Abuja
Former World Bank Vice-President for Africa and one-time Minister of Education, Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, has charged Nigerian women to focus on becoming the vanguard for a shift in value infrastructure of the nation.
She gave the charge yesterday, in a keynote address at the 2012 national conference of Business and Professional Women (BPW) in Abuja.
Speaking on the theme: “Transformation Through Responsible Leadership – The Role of Women,” Ezekwesili, who observed that the present millennium belonged to women, stated that maximising the power of women would impact greatly on the economy of the nation.
While maintaining that any leadership that drives change is at the forefront of transformation, she stated that leadership had moved from being a person’s specific to a multilateral which is the capacity to mobilise group resources, adding that knowledge was the new oil.
She enjoined women to invest in understanding the issues affecting education, development and training if they must play a leading role in the transformation process.
In a welcome address, the National President BPW Nigeria, Mrs. Angela Ajala, said leadership was the most important single factor in determining business success or failure in a competitive, turbulent, fast-moving economy.
The BPW president, who disclosed that the biggest problem confronting a lot of women today is leadership, said the problem can be surmounted through the development and acquisition of leadership skills.
“The quality of leadership is the decisive strength or weakness of organisations and institutions. The good news is that leaders are made, not born. Like any set of skills, leadership is developed by practice and repetition, over and over again, until you master it,” she said.
Ajala stated that the vision of the BPW was to develop the professional, business and leadership potentials of women on all levels through advocacy, mentoring, networking, skill building and economic empowerment programs and projects around the world so that women can impact positively on their generation.