Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has earmarked N20 million to boost micro economic activities of rural women in the state. He announced the donation at the 2019 Abia Women August Delegates Conference (AWADEC) in response to a request by his wife, Nkechi, who had appealed for assistance to deepen the micro credit scheme which she initiated. Ikpeazu noted that women play multiple roles in the family, including spiritual, social and economic hence the need to empower them to give their best to the family and society. He said that the annual August meeting of women had in recent years taken a new dimension in Abia where it was now “a very serious business” as women were mobilised for rural development. Ikpeazu urged Abia women to give their children and wards sound upbringing, adding that the foundational training that mothers give ultimately determines the kind of adults children become in future. The Abia chief executive, who lauded his wife for transforming August meeting, called on women to acquire at least one skill and impart it on their children, citing the Akwete women weavers of Ukwa East that have sustained their craft for generations.
Wife of the governor in her address said that she reformed the annual August meeting five years ago in a bid “to refocus the priorities of our women during their annual reunions that have come to be known as August meetings. I conceived AWADEC with the intention to create a paradigm shift that would propel our women at the community level and the groups to seek self-realisation, become empowered psychologically, socially and economically,” she said. According to Mrs. Ikpeazu the annual August meetings that take place in various communities across the state would continue to serve as “perfect vehicle for distilling ideas” that engender development. She stated that the revolving zero interest loan scheme instituted as part of AWADEC programmes has recorded huge success by enriching lives directly.