On Wednesday, 3rd August 2022, members of the PAWED coalition embarked on an advocacy visit to the Enugu State Ministry of Information.

Participating in the advocacy visit were:

  • Nkem Awachie (South Saharan)
  • Ozor Modesta (AWITA)
  • Nebo Collins (New Century Initiative)
  • Chinyere Otuonye (Empowered to Empower Multipurpose Cooperative Society)

The participants were welcomed into the office of the Commissioner and sat down to have a meeting with the following officials present:

  • Mrs.Ugochukwu Adimora (Head of Department)
  • Ugwu Joe (Principal Executive Officer)

The participants introduced the PAWED project to the HOD, and explained that the advocacy visit came as a follow-up to a recently-concluded policy dialogue session on Women’s Economic Empowerment, to which various WEE stakeholders had been invited.

At the policy dialogue session, several issues surrounding WEE had been discussed, and after deliberations by stakeholders from different sectors, it was decided that the most urgent issue was “low public awareness of existing economic empowerment opportunities.”

The solution to this issue is threefold:

  • to create a publicly-accessible online database of current economic empowerment opportunities
  • to have a robust awareness campaign (especially through radio) for each economic empowerment opportunity created by the government
  • to build the capacity of women in rural areas to be able to apply and partake in available economic empowerment opportunities.

The participants explained to the HOD that the Ministry of Information had been picked for this advocacy because they would be best positioned to receive data and information from all the state MDAs, and they are already in charge of disseminating information about Enugu state government activities.

The HOD thanked the participants for visiting and making recommendations but pointed out that Enugu state government already has an active website where they report news of all government activities and projects.

The participants explained that this advocacy request was not for the establishment of a general government website, but rather a separate website focused on economic empowerment where women and youths could go look for government-sponsored economic opportunities, without having to sift through tons of news reports about other government activities.

The HOD was open to the suggestion and asked for further ideas for the website. The participants suggested that the website should be searchable via different filters including type of opportunity, location, and responsible MDA. They also suggested that the website should have a section for non-governmental opportunities.

The HOD said she was on board with the suggestion and would raise it with other government officials, but was not making any promises, as the approval process could be very long and convoluted.

The participants thanked her and expressed the willingness of the PAWED coalition to provide partnership and support in the project creation and implementation.

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