Making Nigerian Women Globally Competitive By Temi Ajibewa

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As an African in this day and age, competition has gone beyond the people in our immediate environment, it is now more of global competition. Statistics according to Knoema, reveals that the female population for Nigeria was 99.1 million persons in 2019 and over the last 50 years, the female population of Nigeria has grown substantially from 28 million to 99.1 million persons.

To compete globally, women need to become more aware of their knowledge gaps and do all it takes to bridge such gaps in order to be at par with their contemporaries in other parts of the world.

Most times, the skills needed to bridge these knowledge gaps are not taught in schools and they could also be pretty expensive as well. A couple of times, some women who go out there to learn these skills on their own get discouraged because they can’t afford it and few percentages of women that can afford to pay for acquiring these skills oftentimes don’t find the environment conducive enough to learn. This, of course, is the reason why some ambitious women opt for travelling out of the country to learn these skills.

So, what are the skills and attitude that will make Nigerian women globally competitive? First and foremost, they need to have a never-say-die attitude. A Nigerian woman that desires to be globally recognized needs to have an indefatigable and indomitable attitude where she takes her life/destiny into her hands, not waiting on anyone else to do for her what she can do for herself. In other words, she takes full responsibility for her actions and is in total control of what goes on in her life.

Next, Nigerian women need to build capacity. In this context, building capacity is a process whereby a woman obtains, improves, and retains the skills, knowledge, tools, equipment, and other resources she needs to do her job competently and effectively.

Women should be soaking up as much information as they can instead of wasting time on social media or TV and put in all efforts into getting clear on their goals.

After building capacity, the next thing to do is to collaborate. One of the major steps a Nigerian woman should undertake to be globally competitive is “Global Collaboration”.

Women have to be more deliberate when it comes to collaborating. They have to reach out to one another because there is no competition anywhere these days. I recommend they start by joining global forums and reach out to the members. Whenever they attend live events, they should reach out to the people they meet the next day and forge an alliance with them. This way, women can easily support themselves and they can also recommend each other when they have opportunities to do so.

In addition, getting a mentor cannot be overemphasized in a bid to become globally competitive. Here’s a quote by the great John Crosby that reads: “Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction”

Mentoring is one of, if not the most important step to take to become globally competitive. Like I always love to say “A mentor is someone whose yesterday is your tomorrow”.

A mentor gives you the psychological permission to succeed. For you to be globally relevant, you want to have someone who you can model, someone who is presently living your kind of life on a global scale and more importantly, that person is willing to guide you in your preferred career so you can make little or no mistakes on your journey.

Before I began my coaching practice about 5 years ago, I realized that I had sold just about anything within the space of over 10 years but I was never able to build a successful business.

The moment I discovered this, I sought quality mentoring from those doing well in the coaching sphere and today I’m better for it. For me, no amount is too high to spend for the right mentoring in order to achieve my goals.

Of course, the Nigerian government at all levels have a role to play here. The Nigerian Government can play a vital role by establishing highly subsidised educational centres that can teach women global skills that their contemporaries enjoy.

Major skills like: Digital Marketing, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Robotics etc.

If Nigerian women can easily access these global skills, they can become globally competitive and they will be able to do the same things their contemporaries in China, Japan, US, UK are doing because they would have been empowered to do their best.

The government can also provide a portal for women where International opportunities are published and updated from time to time to keep them informed of their chances in the global world.

Indeed, with the right attitude, training, positioning and skills, the Nigerian women have all it takes to become globally competitive.

Temi Ajibewa is the founder of She Ignites Africa, a social enterprise that supports the Millionaire Housewife Brand as a foremost edu-tech platform in Africa designed to help women launch and grow successful businesses from home by leveraging on the internet.

She can be reached on temi@temiajibewa.com

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