JANE KIMEMIA: ‘SHECAN’ Initiative Aligns with Our Goal to Empower Women to do More

Dr. Jane Kimemia is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Optiva Capital Partners Limited, easily the largest provider of second citizenship and residency services in Africa. Chiemelie Ezeobi writes on Kimemia’s commitment to women empowerment and girl-child education for effective nation building. As this year’s SheCan Initiative, with Optiva Capital Partners as headline sponsors,  begins today in Victoria Island, Lagos, it has proven an opportunity  to empower women to position for more 

Women empowerment is at the core of inclusive nation building. It enables women to control their lives, make informed decisions, and participate fully in society, free from discrimination, marginalisation, and oppression.

It involves promoting gender equality, challenging patriarchal norms, and addressing the social, economic, and political barriers that prevent women from reaching their full potential.

A crucial aspect of women empowerment is girl child education. Educating girls and young women has a multiplier effect on their lives, families, and communities. It helps break the cycle of poverty, reduces gender-based violence, and increases economic opportunities. 

Investing in girl child education is essential for achieving gender equality and women empowerment. It has a ripple effect, benefiting not only the individual girl but also her family, community, and society as a whole.

Girl child education is particularly important due to our country’s low literacy rates, especially among women. According to UNESCO, in 2018, only 59 per cent of Nigerian women aged 15-24 were literate, compared to 74 per cent of men. Educating girls and young women can help bridge this gap and promote gender equality.

It is against this background that leading investment immigration firm, Optiva Capital Partners offered to headline the sponsorship of “SheCan” Conference which begins today in Victoria Island, Lagos, to re-affirm its commitment to empowering women.

This year’s ‘SheCan’ Conference whose theme is ‘SheCan Do More 5.0’ is organised by SheCan Nigeria, a movement dedicated to empowering women in Nigeria. 

Dr. Jane Kimemia, the transformative Chief Executive Officer of Optiva Capital Partners explained that the company came on board as the lead sponsor of SheCan conference because they are proud to be associated with this important agenda of empowering women to be more.  

According to her, “the female gender has always been important to us as over seventy percent of our workforce is women. When you empower a woman, you empower a generation. The theme of this year’s conference aligns with who we are at Optiva Capital Partners and we are happy to partner with SheCan as we tell our stories.”

Dr. Kimemia who is an alumnus of INSEAD Business School, France, further explained that “we align with the SheCan Nigeria initiative which believes women and young girls should be able to ‘Be More’ in every facet of life irrespective of their background, gender, religion or their limitations, to be able to give their best to the society. 

“Empowered women will come together to empower others in this year’s conference. We understand that there were over 3000 participants last year but about 4000 participants are expected today. This year’s conference theme is ‘Positioning for More” in your career, business, and anything you aspire to become.” 

Women empowerment matters because it is a fundamental human right, essential for achieving gender equality and social justice; empowering women can boost economic growth, as women are more likely to invest in their families and communities, leading to improved health, education, and well-being; and empowering women can help reduce poverty, as women are more likely to manage resources effectively and make sustainable investments. The United Nations and other international organisations have also made the case that empowered women are more likely to prioritize healthcare, leading to better maternal and child health outcomes; empowering women can lead to increased education and skills development, benefiting entire communities; can also lead to more inclusive decision-making processes; and can break cycles of violence, discrimination, and marginalization, creating a more equitable society. There are also the futuristic imperatives that empowered women can serve as role models, inspiring future generations to strive for equality and justice; and above all, empowering women is crucial for human development, as it enables women to reach their full potential, contributing to a more prosperous and equitable society.

In our country, women empowerment is particularly important due to our patriarchal culture, gender-based violence, and limited access to education and economic opportunities. 

Dr. Kimemia therefore advocates that more needs to be done to empower women beginning from the girl-child. She starts by reminding the society that women started as girls and as such the focus should be on the girl child, the opportunities for girls to succeed through empowerment schemes to let them know that they can succeed and be everything they want to be. She makes a strong case for investment in the education of the girl child and put them in the right programmes for them to succeed. Give women equal playing field, equal opportunities and very importantly, financial inclusion for women.”

With the much that have come the way of women in terms of education, Dr. Jane Kimemia believes that they are doing well because whether as trader or in the corporate circles, holding big positions in organizations, waking up every day to attend to daily activities has been a fantastic job and also balancing so many different roles outside the home. “We wear so many different hats as women, daughters, mothers, wives, friends and the trainers of our children and also the corporate people as well. And to balance it all, women are doing fantastic jobs across the different devices.”

In words and deeds, Optiva Capital Partners is committed to the empowerment of women with the recent groundbreaking ceremony of the multi-million Naira rehabilitation and upgrade of Agboyi Ketu Primary Healthcare Centre, Lagos, into a fully equipped ultra-modern maternity centre.

The area of maternal healthcare is a big concern especially Nigeria. According to reports, Nigeria contributes close to 10% of the global maternal death. A cursory look at the nation’s population shows that the bulk of it is young, that means a lot of people are in their child bearing ages. Yet there is such a disparity between the provision of healthcare and what women are really doing. 

Dr. Kimemia said that Optiva Capital Patners is working with Lagos State Government in this regard because it is one of the areas they are very passionate about, to reduce maternal mortality that’s avoidable. Starting with Ketu, the company adopted a primary healthcare center for total refurbishment, transforming it to a maternal health centre with the right bed capacity to be able to serve the region, with the right equipment and right environment. 

The upgrade includes infrastructure, the right medical equipment, ambulance and everything holistically. “Everything has to do with how we create the right environment for women to be able to get help when it comes to delivery or if there will be need for any referrals. That’s a really big initiative which is focused on women maternal health,” she enthused

Speaking further on the maternal healthcare initiative, Dr. Kimemia stated that Optiva Capital Partners will expand the healthcare facilities to accommodate more beds and enhance the quality of the maternity wards and labor rooms with state-of-the-art hospital equipment. This, according to her, is to ensure that a larger number of women in Agboyi Ketu Local Government receive enhanced maternity care. “We will be working extensively on the infrastructure and ambience from the time you walk in to receive medical help to the time you receive the help you need. So it won’t only benefit mothers but the entire population of Ketu LCDA. We will provide hospital equipment for the delivery room as advised by the Ministry of Health.  Soon, we will come back to commission a full-fledged maternity centre where women, mothers and children will be happy to come in to receive medical help. This is the beginning of our journey towards creating sustainable change in maternal and childcare. Through our collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Health, we strive for a future where the number of women who lose their lives during childbirth is greatly minimized.”

The Optiva Capital CEO further stated that “we also have an initiative in Enugu state, working with families, offering palliatives especially to the disadvantaged people with no source of livelihood. Every month, hundreds of families come there to benefit from the initiative. Also, we are working with an organization for women traders to be able to access credit.”

It is not surprising that Optiva Capital Partners provides this level of service and commitment to the society through women empowerment because as Dr. Kimemia stated, “over 70% of our workforce is women. And if you look at who we are, we are a lifelong learning institution. The empowerment and training of our staff over the years is to make a difference in the society. We serve women when we serve the community.”


“We align with the SheCan Nigeria initiative which believes women and young girls should be able to ‘Be More’ in every facet of life irrespective of their background, gender, religion or their limitations, to be able to give their best to the society.”

Related Articles