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ECA West Africa Engages with More Than 350 Coalition Partners to Support Women and Youth’s Entrepreneurship in the Region

Lagos (Nigeria), September 23, 2021 – The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), through its Subregional Office for West Africa (SRO-WA), in collaboration with Compass Global Consulting kickstarted a 3-day hybrid Regional Business Forum on the 21st of September 2021 in Lagos, Nigeria. Themed “Empowering Women Youths to Spur Africa’s Transformation Agenda”, sector champions in various industries have been partaking to be a part of this Regional Business Forum structured around high-level meetings, consultations with Business Champions, the youth, and women in the West African business ecosystems.

The Forum which is in partnership with more than 350 coalition partners has witnessed an immense turnover of positive feedback from the opening ceremony. It started with opening remarks by Dr. Vera Songwe, Under-Secretary-General and ECA Executive Secretary who explained that “The purpose of this conversation is how we can bring the West African woman to leverage the knowledge, the innovation that exists, leverage the vibrancy they have and ensure they can take their businesses one notch higher to the global sub-region and take advantage of markets that are further beyond in the east and the west”.

Dr. Vera Songwe said “In a crisis, the first thing we want to do is ensure we prevent good businesses from falling below and focus a lot on retention. Africa, in particular, the West African region, has the population dynamics working for it. The African population is estimated at 1.3 million in 2020 of which over 250 million is the youth and it is estimated that 10 million to 12 million are entering the workforce every year but only 3.1 million of them find jobs”. 

“AfCFTA stands to grow Africa’s GDP by an additional one trillion dollars to deliver on what is needed: first unlocking our borders, building value chains, and making sure the African women all work together to create the supply chain for textile, fashion, for agro-industry and essentially grow the value of the products and earn more from that and also they can become sub-regional and wider continental and international businesses and not limited to the geographies in which we exist today”, added the Executive Secretary of ECA.

The Honorable Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed during her session, emphasized why it’s imperative for society to empower youth and women. “We are hopeful, that this will be an effective avenue for empowering youths and women entrepreneurs and address the unemployment challenges we have in Africa, as well as address the need to create jobs”, speaking on the AfCFTA leverage.

Highlighting the major gaps in the African educational systems and they affect productivity, Mrs. Ngone Diop, Sub Regional Director, West Africa Office – UNECA, said “the region capacity of innovation remains weak mainly because of the deficiencies in the education systems”. 

The representative of ECOWAS said that his organization will always be mindful of the roles women andyouths play in economic development”. This is to reinstate ECOWAS’ commitment to women and youth empowerment.

Day 1 was fully packed with high-level delegates and insightful sessions and speeches that are bound to create major mind shifts to aid women and youth inclusion and advancement in Africa and the world at large.

For more information, please contact Tahirou Gouro, Communications Officer, ECA- SRO/WA

Email: gouro2@un.org

Sub-Regional Office for West Africa

428 Avenue du Fleuve Niger

B.P. 744

Niamey, Niger

Website: www.uneca.org

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U.S. Consulate Announces Application for 2021 Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE)

Lagos — The U.S. Consulate General in Lagos and Ascend Studios Foundation have partnered to implement the 2021 Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), a U.S. Government initiative that supports women entrepreneurs around the world, now in its third year.

200 participants will be selected from the 17 states of southern Nigeria for the 2021 cohort. To support the comprehensive rehabilitation and reintegration of returned migrants, 50 female returnees will also take part in the program. As part of this highly competitive entrepreneurship program, participants who graduate from the AWE gain automatic membership to the U.S. government exchange alumni community, providing access to a vast network of like-minded and highly regarded professionals across the country.

Women’s meaningful economic participation is integral to achieving greater security and stability around the world. The AWE initiative is a great opportunity for Nigerian women entrepreneurs to gain university-level business and management training, strengthen their networks, and grow sustainable businesses.

Women have a key role to play in Nigeria’s future prosperity,” U.S. Consulate Public Affairs Officer Stephen Ibelli said. “As we have seen time and time again when women do better, countries do better, communities do better, and families do better.”

Leading local business leaders will help facilitate the intensive program scheduled to run from July to September 2021. In addition, participants will receive access to DreamBuilder, a blended business training course developed through a partnership between Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management and global copper mining company Freeport-McMoRan.

Chief Executive Officer of Ascend Studios Foundation, Ms. Inya Lawal, said “We are delighted that the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos has partnered with us to implement this program, the largest yet. AWE is a transformative initiative that is helping women in Nigeria build and sustain their businesses; the opportunities that come from this program are immense.”

Female entrepreneurs interested in participating in the AWE program can apply at no cost by filling out the application form via https://bit.ly/applyawe2021.


The application portal is now open and closes on July 15, 2021.

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Borderless Trade Network Presents Project WINHER 2021

It is no longer news that several MSMEs and early-stage ventures had to wade through strong currents when the pandemic hit. However, while its impact was felt globally, the effect was not the same for everyone.

It’s no exaggeration to say that that businesses owned by women, especially those of color were severely devastated in the wake of the Covid-19 rife. A World Bank survey conducted in May 2020, assessing over 26,000 business owners and managers in over 50 countries with an active Facebook Business Page, revealed that about 43% of female-owned MSMEs were more severely affected than 34% of the male-owned business counterparts who were also affected.

With an imbalance that was too glaring to ignore, OBA Inc. in February 2021, held its first Borderless Trade Women in Business Salon Series which was targeted at realizing the global impact of raising women who are well-grounded in trade, business, and investment, as well as utilizing the AfCFTA protocols to their favor. Sensitizing women on the possibilities of international trade and integrating actionable systems that can take their business beyond the borders of the current location or even continent.

Piggybacking off the success of our Saloon series, OBA Inc. presents project WINHER; A 4-stage investment education, financial inclusion, and wealth creation project for women of color.

Project WIN (Women in Investment) HER introduces its maiden edition which will focus on exposing women of color in Nigeria and the UK, to digital money and wealth creation opportunities, increasing the number of women actively thriving in the global investment market.

Olori Boye-Ajayi, speaking on behalf of the other facilitators – Inya Lawal, President, Ascend Studios Foundation; Tomie Balogun, Financial Educator & Investor; Sanmi Adegoke, CEO, Rehoboth Property International; Olayinka Anthony, CEO, CoWorthy Capital; and Tobi Arayomi, Financial Investor & CEO, Q plus— says, “We believe that the women who participate in this project will gain a high level of financial literacy that will demystify the subject of investment and enable them to recognize high ROI opportunities.”

The importance of inclusion will, through this project, be emphasized while also showing how trade & investment go hand in hand, with the Borderless Trade Network of OBA Inc. being the trade hub and Project WINHER, the investment hub.

Project WINHER is set to hold on Sunday, 8th August 2021, and Sunday 15th August 2021 by 6:30 pm WAT.

This project is proudly supported by the Office of the Honorable Commissioner of Trade and Investment to Vanuatu to Nigeria and South Africa; sponsored by Cersei Partners and OBA Inc.

Click here to register to attend.

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ELOY Conference 2020 Holds in November.

ELOY Awards Foundation confirms Mrs Oulimata Sarr, Regional Director, UN Women and more speakers for the ELOY Conference 2020. Exquisite magazine’s ELOY Conference will hold virtually on Friday, November 27th , 2020 from 11am.  Exquisite magazine has been consistently organizing the ELOYs since 2009, to celebrate and recognize women of excellence in different fields to inspire and motivate others.
 
The ELOY Conference under the ELOY Awards Foundation is to empower women in Micro/Small businesses and women in the rural areas.
 
The spotlight is beaming on women. It is evident in Nigeria and around the world as policymakers and business support organizations are waking up to the idea that women are good for the economic prosperity of the nation. Women are the powerhouse of a nation. The pandemic has also shown that women are a force to be reckoned with; most of the countries that were recognized as having managed the COVID-19 crisis best are led by women. It is time to recognize that women are here and we are making a huge difference. THEME OF THE ELOY CONFERENCE 2020: The Women are Here – Empower Her.Our theme this year is to continue the conversation and action steps towards having a more inclusive representation of women in all sectors, especially in leadership roles and for women-owned businesses to be appreciated, recognized and not belittled. The ELOY conference is being used as a platform to educate and empower thousands of women says Tewa Onasanya, Founder of the ELOY Awards Foundation 
A Special Address on the theme will be given by the Regional Director UN Women Mrs Oulimata Sarr. Speakers for the different panel discussions include Toyin Onigbanjo (Founder AugustSecrets), Adeola Adefila (Chief Operating Officer, Banrut Rolls Nigeria), Just Ibe (President, TACT Africa), Yetty Williams (Founder, Lagos Mums), Muna Onuzo (Senior Technical Adviser to the Honourable Minister of State for Education), Tayo Afolabi (CEO WorldPR Media Limited), Onyeka Koldsweat (Founder & Chief Impact Officer, Rendra Foundation, Dr Ijeoma Nwagwu (Sustainability Leadership & Strategy, Lagos Business School), Chizor Malize (MD/CEO, Financials Institution Training Center), Tale Alimi (C0-Founder & CEO, Rouzo), Abiola Olumodeji (Madame Merola, Image and Branding Specialist), Mavis Amankwah (Multi Award-winning Entrepreneur and Public Speaker), Yetty Ogunnubi (Founder, YD Company), Mabel Aladenusi Adeteye (Head Communications and PR, TVC Communications).
 
The conference will feature; Special addresses by women who are successfully running their businessesThree-panel sessionsGrowth Strategies for Businesses – Expanding in the midst of a pandemicFinancial Inclusion for Women & Fitness for Businesses – Preparing and getting finance Marketing, PR & Brand Communication in the digital age Business idea pitch sessions for the ELOY Foundation Grant and access to affordable loans. 
Attendance is free but registration required.
 
For more information and sponsorship enquiries, please contact: eloyf@exquisitemag.com
Register Here
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FIRS SPONSORS ELOY AWARDS AND CONFERENCE 2019.

Announcing.

FIRS SPONSORS ELOY AWARDS AND CONFERENCE 2019.

The ELOY Awards and Conference 2019 team is pleased to announced FIRS as one of the ELOY awards category sponsor.

FIRS is charged with the primary responsibility of assessing, collecting and accounting to the Government for various Federal taxes. The partnership includes FIRS educating attendees at the ELOY Conference and ELOY Awards on everything tax.

The aim of the ELOY Awards is to continue to inspire, motivate and empower women, celebrate our successes and show that it can be done.
The ELOY Awards seeks to celebrate ladies who are doing exceptionally well in their chosen fields and are great examples of strong women doing great things. We want other women to be inspired by these women and strive to be the best they can be.

This year, being the 11th year is themed “I am Empowered”. We want to celebrate any woman in any community, workplace, field or anywhere that is doing great work.

The 1st annual ELOY Conference is a part of the initiative of the ELOY Awards Foundation. The ELOY Conference is being used as a platform to educate and empower thousands of women. The ELOY Awards Foundation is about empowering and challenging thousands of women to be more and do more by providing access to resources, business skills and tools for them to be able to grow, transform and sustain their businesses, which will in turn benefit their families and the community at large.

The ELOY Conference is themed “Empower Her to Sustain Her” it will feature; master classes, panel sessions, exhibitions as well as a business pitch where the winner gets a grant for their business.
The ELOY Conference is set to take place on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at The Muson Center, Onikan, Lagos while the ELOY Awards will take place on Sunday, November 24, 2019 at Lagos Continental Hotel (formerly International Hotel), Lagos.

A representative from FIRS stated that, “FIRS supports the ELOY Awards and Conference to interact with and engage people about our services and activities”.

REGISTER HERE TO ATTEND THE CONFERENCE
To book a stand, for sponsorship and partnerships contact us at eloy@exquisitemag.com.
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11TH ELOY AWARDS CALL FOR NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED.

ELOY AWARDS & CONFERENCE 2019
The Exquisite Lady of the Year Awards has been consistently celebrating women of excellence in different fields since 2009. At our 10th ELOY awards in 2018, we launched the ELOY AwardsFoundation with the primary aim to empower women through partnerships for access to grants and affordable finance, entrepreneurial training, mentoring and networking for sustainable empowerment.

The ELOY Awards Foundation is about empowering and challenging thousands of women to be more and do more by providing access to resources, business skills and tools for them to be able to grow, transform and sustain their businesses, which will, in turn, benefit their families and the community at large.

Our watchword is SUSTAINABLE EMPOWERMENT.

We are holding the 1st annual ELOY conference under the ELOY awards Foundation on the 13th of November. This event is free to all women to attend, but you must register. The ELOY conference is being used as a platform to educate and empower thousands of women.

One woman will win a 1 million Naira Funding for their business,
50 women will also be chosen to be part of the ELOY Awards Foundation Sustainable Empowerment Program (SEP). This gives them Six months access to mentors, training and affordable finance.

Welcome to the ELOY Awards and Conference 2019.

REGISTER TO ATTEND
It’s the 11th of the Exquisite Ladies of the Year (ELOYAward. The ELOYs will be held on the 24thof November 2019. We have 25 awards to give out to exceptional women this year. We are looking forward to celebrating all women. Our theme this year is I am Empowered. We believe empowered women empower others, all the categories this year show that women empowering themselves with knowledge and skills have been able to move past the norm to become exceptional. We want to highlight and celebrate this.

The time is now to send in your nominations across a range of categories to be scrutinised by our judges. Nominations for ELOY Awards category ends on the 25th of September 2019. Nominations for the Ladies Who Inspire category ends on the 2nd of November 2019. Entries should be submitted to eloy@exquisitemag.com.

#eloyawards2019 #iamempowered #iamexquisite

These sets of Awards are for exquisite ladies in different fields who will be nominated and voted for by you. We are looking for nominations in the categories above who have been active during the ELOY period of Dec 2018 till date, they will then be shortlisted and the final categories and nominees announced by end of September for ELOY Awards and November for the Ladies that Inspire Awards.

Criteria for Nominee
The criteria for the ELOY Award focus on the character of the individual, her ability and achievements and how her work impacts the Nigerian society.

Must have proven record of:

1. Direct leadership: responsible for duties of others in a business environment. The leadership ability to affect human behaviour and accomplish a mission. Must be capable of influencing people to achieve set goals.
2. Indirect leadership: she has earned respect of others due to past or current achievements
3. Service: has helped colleague, associates to grow, develop and achieve goals and given assistance to the community.
4. Commitment: shows a level of dedication to her goals and ability to achieve them
5. Achievement: shows evidence of growth in her business or profession.
6. Integrity: must act according to values, beliefs and principles that shape the future for the better. Actions of integrity.
7. Character: meeting her responsibilities and being a good Nigerian.

The aim for ELOY Awards as always is to continue to inspire, motivate and empower women, celebrate our successes and show that it can be done. Our distinguished judges were carefully selected and they embody ladies who are doing exceptionally well in their chosen fields and are great examples of strong women doing great things. We want other women to be inspired by these women and strive to be the best they can be.
This year, our theme is “I am Empowered”. We want to know any woman in any community, workplace, field or anywhere that is doing great work, we want to celebrate those women.
Tewa Onasanya, founder of The ELOY Awards and Foundation announced on Friday 27th of August thatELOY is now accepting entries for its 11th edition.
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HE ATIKU ABUBAKAR, UCHE PEDRO, NUTS ABOUT CAKES, CEEC AND OTHERS WIN BIG AT ELOY AWARDS 2018

HE ATIKU ABUBAKAR, UCHE PEDRO, NUTS ABOUT CAKES, CEEC AND OTHERS WIN BIG AT ELOY AWARDS 2018

The 2018 ELOY Awards Ceremony has come and gone, but the memories it has left will linger for a very long time. The 10th Anniversary for the Exquisite Lady of the Year Awards held at Lagos Continental Hotel (formerly Intercontinental Hotel) on Sunday, November 25, 2018. Beautiful guests stormed the ELOY Awards black carpet looking gorgeous, as they followed through with the dress code for the evening; ‘Audaciously Iconic’.

There were performances by Issac Geralds, Kemi Ladipo (spoken word) and  Golden Curvy Models also did a catwalk showcasing designs by top plus size designer, JP Kouture.

The highlight of the evening was the HE4SHE Award which was a first-time category at the ELOY Awards. The award in this category was won by former Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar GCON (Wazirin Adamawa), a man who constantly advocates for women.

This is also the first time a man has ever received an ELOY Award. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who was unavoidably absent, was ably represented by Mr Mustafa Chike-Obi, Executive Vice-Chairman of Alpha African Advisory Limited, who spoke about Alhaji Abubakar’s agenda for women which includes; protecting and promoting the rights of women and the girl-child in Nigeria and creating an enabling environment for Nigerian women to return to the path of wealth creation and gainful employment.

Mr Mustafa Chike-Obi representing former Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar GCON (Wazirin Adamawa) by accepting his Award.
Ini Abimbola, a member of the ELOY Awards Committee spoke about the “Journey So Far” for the awards and congratulated this year’s recipients.

Titilayo Oshodi,  representative of Honourable Jide Sanwoolu, ( Member, Advisory Board of Exquisite Magazine since 2006) congratulated the ELOY Team and it’s founder Tewa Onasanya, who has year in, year out identified and honoured inspirational women in society. She spoke about Honourable Jide Sanwoolu’s plans to create a conducive environment for greater female participation in every facet of life in Lagos.

The evening ended with the announcement of the ELOY Foundation by Tewa Onasanya (ELOY Awards Founder). The ELOY Foundation is dedicated to empowering women by providing access to finance, mentors, training and more, thereby uplifting female entrepreneurs to continue to be the economic power house of Nigeria.

The Exquisite Lady of the Year (ELOY) Awards is executed by Exquisite Magazine, led by its publisher Tewa Onasanya, who is also the creator of ELOY Awards. The Awards has been consistently celebrating, empowering and motivating women since 2009.  The Awards recognise inspirational women who are doing great things in their various fields.

WINNERS LIST
1. ACTRESS OF THE YEAR (SPONSORED BY LUSH HAIR): Mercy Johnson Okojie, Seven & a half dates.

2. AUTHOR OF THE YEAR : Nina Iphechukwude Anyianuka (Disowned)

3. CHEF OF THE YEAR : Ronke Edoho (9jafoodie)

4. ELOY AWARD FOR TECHNOLOGY /Lottana Ezeogu (Skills tribe)ICT :

5. ACCESSORY DESIGNER OF THE YEAR: Urez Kulture

6. ELOY AWARD FOR AGRICULTURE:  Ifeoluwa Ariyo (Forth worth Farms)

7. ON AIR PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR (RADIO): Ada Afoluwake Ogunkeye (Folu Storm, Smooth Fm, Lagos)

8. ELOY AWARD FOR EMPOWERMENT:  Mercy Makinde, (Amazing Amazon’s Initiative)

9. SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR AWARD: Esther Ijewere (Women of Rubies)

10. SOCIAL MEDIA PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR SPONSORED BY (LUFTHANSA): Cynthia Nwadiora (CeeC)

11. FASHION DESIGNER OF THE YEAR (SPONSORED BY LUSH HAIR): Tubo

12. ELOY AWARD FOR JOURNALISM AND MEDIA ; PRINT AND DIGITAL (SPONSORED BY FIRS) – Peace Hyde

13. ELOY HOSPITALITY AWARD: Nike Majekodunmi (Nuts about cakes)

14. MILLENNIAL ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR (SPONSORED BY EDIYE BEAUTY & WELLNESS): MIZWANEKA

15. ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR: Adedamola Ladejobi (Ask Damz)

16. ELOY WOMAN WHO INSPIRES AWARD: Eno Essien

17. SCRIPT WRITER OF THE YEAR: Dami Elebe (Lagos with Love, Skinny Girl in transit)

18. ELOY AWARD FOR INNOVATION / INVENTION (SPONSORED BY FIRS): Uche Pedro (Bella Naija)

19. TV ACTRESS OF THE YEAR (TV AND WEB) SERIES: Lota Chukwu (Ajoche)

20. ELOY HE4SHE AWARD- A MAN THAT ADVOCATES FOR WOMEN: His Excellency Atiku Abubakar GCON

CLICK TO VIEW WINNERS IMAGES
ELOY Awards 2018 team would like to thank you all for being part of this year’s edition. We do hope it was as exciting for you as it was for us and big Congratulations to all our nominees and winners
We appreciate you all.
Be Audacious
Be Ambitious
Be Audaciously Ambitious
The Power Is Yours.
ELOY Awards Team
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ELOY AWARDS 2017 HIGHLIGHTS AND WINNERS

It was all glitz and glam On Sunday, November 26, 2017 at the Exquisite Women of the Year (ELOY) Awards 2017 which took place at Intercontinental hotel, Lagos. The ELOY Awards consistently holds every year to celebrate women who have been exceptional in all their endeavours and various fields during the course of the year and this year being the 9th edition was no different as the ELOY Awards hosted and celebrated Nigerian women from all walks of life. The event started with the Red carpet at 5pm, the entire entry way was beautifully occupied by some of our sponsors to showcase their craft.

There was a beauty lounge by Dabota Cosmetics with lots of freebies and free makeovers, Instant pick up had a stand where they familiarized guests about their services, they also gave 5 hampers to lucky guests during the course of the event, a Mamador oil stand was also on standby as they treated the guests to delicious chicken drum sticks and snails fried with Mamador oil.  Martini and Coca-cola also had their mini bars where they served guests.
Top designer Ayo Van Elmar also showcased her pieces all over the entry way with beautifully adorned mannequins.

The event started with an opening prayer, then an opening speech from the brain behind ELOY Awards, Mrs Tewa Onasanya after which she unveiled the new ELOY Awards Logo which she said represents a woman’s strength, power, courage, determination and empowerment. The keynote speech was delivered by Real Estate Mogul Mrs Udo Okonjo. There were performances by Ruby Gyang and Aramide in between the awards, while Sunkanmi closed the show with an amazing performance.

ELOY AWARDS WINNERS 2017

1.      FASHION DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
BISOLA ADENIYI – LADY BIDA
2.      ON AIR PERSONALITY
MOET ABEBE – SOUND CITY FM
ADEYINKA – R2 FM IBADAN

3.      BLOGGER OF THE YEAR
OMA EHIRI – SOTECTONIC.COM

4.      EVENTS COMPANY SPONSORED BY SUBZERO-TRENDS
DUNAMIS EVENTS – FUNBI AKINYOSOYE

5.      MAKE UP ARTIST
MISZ POSHMUA – LINDA ONYINYE CHUKWUKA

6.      TV PRESENTER (Terrestrial and Online TV)
IDIA AISIEN – STYLE 101 SHOW, SPICE TV

7.      ACTRESS BIG SCREEN
TOYIN ABRAHAM – ALAKADA RELOADED

8.      FEMALE SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR
ABISOYE AJAYI – AKINFOLARIN – GIRL CODING (PEARL AFRICA FOUNDATION)

9.      FEMALE YOUTUBER
SISI YEMMIE

10.     TV ACTRESS (TERRESTIAL AND ONLINE TV)
ABIMBOLA CRAIG – SKINNY GIRL IN TRANSIT – NDANI TV

11.     FEMALE CHEF / FOOD DESIGNER SPONSORED BY MAMADOR
BUKKY TINKO – THE KITCHEN MUSE

12.     BEAUTY ENTREPRENEUR
GOOD HAIR LIMITED

13.     FEMALE MOVIE DIRECTOR
KEMI ADETIBA – THE WEDDING PARTY

14.     FEMALE MUSIC ARTIST OF THE YEAR
SYMPLY SIMI – JOROMI

15.     ELOY WOMAN WHO INSPIRES AWARD IN TOURISM
CHIAMAKA OBUEKWE

16.     ELOY WOMAN WHO INSPIRES IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR
CHINYERE ANOKURU

Photography Credit: @elziavibestudio