December 4, 2019, Lagos, Nigeria: The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Nigeria’s leading think tank, today had a meeting to initiate the NESG Community of Practice on Gender. According to a United Nations (2017) report “advancing gender equality is smart economics, sound business practice and essential development policy. When women and men have equal opportunities to shape their own lives and contribute to their families, communities and countries, it leads to enhanced productivity, improved development outcomes and better performance by business and institutions.” However, the 2019 WEF Global Gender Gap report ranked Nigeria 132 out of 149 in bridging the gender gap, a poor performance on a world-wide scale.
In his opening remarks, Niyi Yusuf, Vice Chairman, NESG stated that over time, the NESG had noticed that issues relating to some large stakeholder groups such as Gender, Youth and SME may not be optimally resolved within the Policy Commissions structure which it operates, because these issues cut across all of them. Therefore, the think tank has set up Communities of Practice to tackle these central issues that will guarantee a sustainable and vibrant Nigerian economy by the year 2050. “A Community of Practice (CoP) is a group of people (typically across different organisations) that share a concern or passion for a common goal and work together to achieve the said goal” – Mr Yusuf said.
Delivering a presentation on the Gender Community of Practice, Head, Corporate Services at the NESG Mrs. Nkechi Onyenso stated that the approach for NESG Gender CoP will allow key stakeholders/individuals across private and public sector groups collectively own and champion the issues around women through the NESG’s structured approach of deliberating, agreeing and advocating on policy focal points. Furthermore, the CoP will act as a facilitating block for addressing policy areas regarding women and interactions with the Policy Commissions, and ensure deliberate focus on the key issues affecting women are paid attention to and addressed effectively. Ultimately, the NESG Gender Community of Practice will convene for policy, legislative and environmental changes that closes the women gap.
The Gender meeting brought together leading women across public, private and developmental organisations, including: Ms. Uto Ukpanah, Company Secretary, MTN Nigeria, Member, Ms. Ijeoma Taylaur, Executive Council WimBiz; Ms Wenyimi Omamuli at United Nations Women, Ms. Ayotola Jagun, Chief Compliance Officer, Oando Plc; and Ms. Oluwayemisi Nathaniel, Member WPAPA amongst others. At the meeting, the attendees split into thematic groups that discussed Equity in Law, Education & Skills, Financial Literacy & Empowerment and Gender Parity in business. The recommendations from these breakout sessions will form the strategic direction which will focus on implementation and advocacy.
The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) is Nigeria’s foremost private sector led think-tank organization that promotes sustainable growth and development in the Nigerian economy. It is a not-for profit/non-partisan organisation with a mandate to promote and champion the reform of the Nigerian economy into an open, private sector-led economy that is globally competitive on a sustainable basis. Over the years, it has emerged as the leading platform for public-private dialogue in Nigeria.