THE Founder African Fashion Development and Empowerment Centre, (AFDEC) Adeola Ogunkolade has called for increased investment in women economic empowerment. She said this will help to reduce poverty and enhance economic growth in the country.
Ogunkolade spoke recently at the Nike Art Gallery, Lagos at this year’s International Women’s Day, (IWD) organised by AFDEC.
The programme featured women from all walks of life who explored the beauty of Nigeria’s culture, fashion and indigenous craft. Hundreds of women were also trained in indigenous craft of tie and die popularly called Adire.
Ogunkolade noted that women account for above 50 percent of Nigeria’s population adding that their contribution to the growth and stability of the country cannot be underestimated. According to her, empowering women economically will bring stability to homes, communities which will result in the desired peace to the society at large. Ogunkolade added: “The goal of the programme is to empower as many women as possible and alleviate poverty from the society. Women’s independence is pivotal in achieving this because of their abilities to easily grasp fashion or crafts.”
On why she chose arts and culture, she said: “Since the early days, artworks have always meant something significant to Nigeria and Africa by extension. ‘These are the things we celebrate – history in our culture – and the foreign people are fascinated about us because of the richness in this way of life.’
She revealed that after the training programme, trainees will join a network of over three thousand Alumni for ideas exchange, project partnerships as well as grants opportunities to boost their businesses.
A DR Congo fashionpreneur, simply identified as Mirabel, thanked AFDEC for “daring to make women self-reliant,” adding that this was in tandem with #EachforEqual, the United Nations’ 2020 campaign theme for IWD.