Source: The Daily Observer
The African Women Foundation for Nation Building (WINB) has made another appointment, this time picking the Nigerian ambassador to The Gambia and the current dean of Diplomatic Corps in Banjul as member of its Board of Governance, the Daily Observer has gathered.
Her Excellency Esther John Audu, was appointed alongside the former speaker of the National Assembly of The Gambia cum women and child rights activist, Hon. Fatoumatta Jahumpa, in recognition of their "outstanding leadership qualities".
"On 6th March 2014, the management committee in consultation with the Board of Patrons WINB met putting into consideration your unmatched leadership qualities and approved your nomination to be a member of the Board of Governance. While congratulating you on this well deserved appointment, we hope our relationship will be mutually beneficial," Bukola Bello Jaiyesimi, the international president and Toyin Joe-Bassey, secretary general, wrote in a letter seen by the Daily Observer.
Reacting, Ambassador Audu said she felt honoured and excited with this development, noting that it is not every woman that could be fished out and recognised by national or international organisations. She is of the view that her appointment has to do with her efforts in the cause of advancing the plight of women.
"I believe that I am doing or have done very well and that is why I have been able to reach this level that they could single me out of many to be part of such Governance," she said. "So I sincerely thank Almighty God for the appointment and I am very delighted about it and I will be very committed to it."
The top Nigerian envoy elucidated further that her appointment is in line with the goal of strengthening women empowerment, and noted that the opportunity would create for her an avenue to further contribute to the development of women particularly in Africa.
"I have been involved in numerous women activities ranging from NGOs level to political affairs, and also as a seasoned diplomat. So I will say I have a lot of experience that I can use to offer my own services in this capacity. So I will try as much as possible to see that I am able to put in my best and share my experience with others," Audu assured.
WINB'S mission is to create avenues for identifying, raising and supporting women leaders for inclusion in nation building across the nations of Africa. WINB is the Pan African Women Foundation that seeks to- provide a balanced scorecard on political leaders, corporate executives and all other leaders involved in nation building. WINB is present in five African countries namely: Nigeria, the Republic of Ghana, Ethiopia, The Gambia and South Africa. It is headed by an international president, Bukky Bello Jaiyesimi, a Pan Africanist and a multi-international award recipient with a passion for encouraging, evaluating, advancing and projecting women's role in respect to Nation Building.
Born on the 30th December, 1961 in Kaduna, Nigeria, Esther John Audu is a seasoned diplomat and the current ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigerian to The Gambia since 2008. Audu is also the current Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in The Gambia. She graduated with a Bachelor of Education- Guidance & Counselling / Economic in 1992 at the University of Jos, Nigeria.
She has had a distinctive career and has served in various capacities in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In 1998, she was elected member of the House of Representatives AMAC/BWARI Federal Constituency and from 1999 to 2004, she served as the executive chairman, Abuja Municipal Area Council (Elected Mayor). From 2007 to 2008, Audu also served as member of Area Council Service Commission, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. She has also held special positions and assignments, among them, her election as Executive Bureau member, World United Cities and Local Governments 2004;
Delegate at the Commonwealth heads of government meeting (CHOGM) for Commonwealth Local Government Forum 2003; elected Board Member, Commonwealth Local Government Forum 2003-2005; respectable Elder Statesman, National Political Reform Conference, Abuja 2005; Council Member, the Federal Polytechnic, Bida 2005;
Chairman, Governing Council, Federal Government Girls College, BWARI-Abuja; Board of Trustee, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Nigeria (Political Party) 2005-Date;
Member, Expert Observer team of the Commonwealth to Mozambique local Election 2003; vice president III, World Conference of Mayors 2002; members, sub-Committee, Presidential Policy Advisory Committee on Women & Youth Development 1999;
First national coordinator, Association of Local Government of Nigeria (Algon) 1999; national treasurer / Board of Trustee, former Elected Local Government Chairman Association 2006; president - elect, Soroptmist International Club, Abuja 2006;
President, National Council of Women Society, FCT-Abuja 1994-1998; Proprietor, Queen-es International School AMAC Housing Estate, Lugbe - Abuja;
National Women Leader, Middle - Belt Forum, Nigeria 2004; founder, Rebirth Women of Nigeria 2000; Chairman, Governing Council, Africa Centre for Resource Studies 1993-Date; amongst others.
Among the award she received included Officer of the National Order of the Republic of The Gambia 2010; Special Honour Award (Medal) for Services by The Gambia Armed Forces 2009; Outstanding Women Achiever: by joint Northern Youths Association; Community Service Award by Rotary Club International, Abuja; and an Outstanding Women's Achiever: by Ebunjan Performing Arts Association, The Gambia 2013.