As the 2023 Kogi gubernatorial elections approach, the Women Entrepreneurs in Nigeria and Diaspora (WEND) Network, a prominent non-profit organization affiliated with the Achana Legacy Foundation, has actively engaged in campaign activities throughout the state. WEND Network recently launched its empowerment and campaign initiative in the Ankpa/Omala/Olamaboro Constituency of Kogi State, marking the Kogi-East leg of their efforts.
The programme garnered significant attendance, with grassroots women, local leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and other government officials converging to support women’s participation in Kogi State’s electoral process. Their goal is to empower women to take an active role in supporting the APC candidate, Alhaji Ahmed Usman-Ododo, and promote robust voter turnout.
Hon. Gabriel Yunusa Olofu, Kogi State’s Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, chaired the event, highlighting the importance of women’s engagement in the political process.
Dr. Maryam J Ogundepo, the President and founder of the Achana Legacy Foundation, stressed the need for women’s increased involvement in elections. She pointed out that women constitute a significant portion of the voting population but often have limited economic power. Dr. Ogundepo’s organization is committed to ensuring the equitable distribution of economic opportunities to women in the state.
In her address, Dr. Ogundepo introduced the “10 x 10 x 10 1,000 Women Entrepreneurs in Nigeria and Diaspora for Ododo Campaign.” This initiative aims to empower women and encourage active participation in the upcoming elections to maintain the good governance established by the current administration led by Yahaya Bello.
The “10 x 10 x 10” initiative will support groups of ten women in various forms of businesses and trades across all local governments in Kogi State. It includes financial assistance for existing businesses, training for women in areas like bakery and vocational skills, as well as guidance in establishing POS businesses for financial stability. Additionally, pregnant and expecting mothers will receive prenatal vitamins for healthy baby growth. The initiative will also provide sponsorships and scholarships for ten primary school pupils in each local government to support impoverished children in their education.
At the event, beneficiaries of the empowerment initiative received financial support for their small businesses, while others were identified for upcoming training. All attendees received relief materials, including food supplies, textiles, and other essential items. This initiative aims to empower women and promote their active involvement in the political and economic life of Kogi State.