In the face of current realities on gender gaps in leadership and governance, The Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) with support from the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) commenced planning for its next operational period (2020 – 2024) with a 3-day Strategic Plan Meeting from 2 – 4 September 2019 in Abuja. The meeting aimed at repositioning the organization towards being responsive to change by reexamining its core aspects of operations, appraising existing thematic areas and analyzing internal and external environments for clear direction, and concrete goals for the future of the organization.

The Chief Executive Officer of NWTF – Ms. Mufuliat Fijabi emphasized that the meeting is expected to provide a concise review of the current strategies of the organization, summarize its strengths and weaknesses and their implications, archive key achievements in the previous period and better position the organization for the future. In her words “Strategic planning is a collaborative process, and the outcome is consequential. The participation of staff and key stakeholder is vital in developing NWTF’s priorities and making progress on the delivery of the mandate of the organization”. She concluded by appreciating the varying contributions of Staff members, Board Members and Advisory Board members towards the pursuance of the NWTF mandate.

On behalf of NWTF Board Members, Hajia Saudatu Mahdi – Secretary General of the Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), was present at the meeting to provide valuable contributions and institutional support. While recognizing the timeliness of the meeting, Hajia Mahdi regarded the meeting as a reflective platform which is necessary to reposition the organization amongst the comity of women focused groups, while it helps in furthering organization’s mandate.

In highlighting few concerns, Hajia Mahdi identified the dissipation of energy within the women’s movement as a major setback for attaining equity in governance. This challenge she placed within a contextual background of Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999 where women groups were without coordinated efforts to challenge stereotypes against women’s leadership. To correct this, she proffered a unified action that sustains constituency building amongst the women’s movement.

Aftermath of the meeting is expected to call on various stakeholders for a final validation meeting in order to reexamine key indicators of the renew strategic plan of the Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) and its adoption.

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