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ECOWAS Regional Conference: Covenant Students Excited About Prospects for Ending Gender Disparity, Women's Development

Four students from Covenant University were part of a team of student panellists and participated in the recently concluded ECOWAS regional conference, with the theme "Gender Transformative Human Capital Development", in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

The conversations of the conference were centred on education, professional skills development, employment, entrepreneurship, and financial inclusion as a means to increase female human capital development.

Attendees were equipped with the knowledge to break societal biases as they made lifelong connections with other brilliant minds. The conference featured notable speakers such as Vice President, ECOWAS Commission, Madam Finda Koroma; Associate, Mckinsey Consulting, Mrs. Kemi Onabanjo; and Advisor of Dalberg Consulting, Chimdindu Oduwiegu, who are both graduates of Covenant University.

The 3-day conference attracted students from Anglophone universities across the continent, as they explored and developed solutions to the prevalent problems that African women and the girl child face in the academic environment, in the workplace, and in the contemporary world.

Recounting her experiences, one of the representing students, Adefuye Mofopefoluwa, a 300-level Mass Communication student at Covenant, said the conference was an eye opener, as the platform to interact with knowledgeable female technocrats and entrepreneurs has injected a new level of confidence to proceed as a change agent.

"It was a life-changing experience for me, and I look forward to impacting other people with the knowledge I have acquired. I got to see great minds from around the continent and to hear about the great things that young women across the continent are achieving," she added.

Another student representative, Ifi Favour, also said, "Prior to that day, I had always heard about gender disparity and the inequality towards women, but at that conference, I saw the statistics, the figures and I was first shocked. Then, I was motivated to do whatever I could to shorten the bridge and reduce gender inequality."

After extensive discussion and deliberation sessions on the first two days of the conference, the Vice-President of the ECOWAS Commission gave a keynote speech to wrap up the conference. She expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the student representatives for their presence and contributions at the event, while also assuring the University’s representatives of a visit to Covenant University.

The regional conference held from Thursday, April 21 to Saturday, April 23, 2022, in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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