This is Africa spoke to Ekene Odigwe, one of the makers of a film aimed at raising awareness of the fight against Female genital mutilation (FGM).
While Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has been declared illegal in some African countries, it still persists. Patrick Egwu in Nigeria, Annie Njanja in Kenya and Mamadou Lamine Ba in Senegal explored what was being done in their countries to stop this age-old discriminatory practice.
Since independence from the British in 1960 Nigeria has never had a female president or vice–president. Oby Ezekwesili, a former World Bank Vice President, anti-corruption campaigner and one of the Nigerian status quo’s fiercest critics, is setting out to break the glass ceiling and occupy the highest office.
Across Africa, the high cost of menstrual products is causing schoolgirls to miss classes and eventually drop out of school, creating what has become known as “period poverty”.
For the past four years, the Tony Elumelu Foundation has been supporting African entrepreneurs and startups with US$5 000 funding. Now the foundation is launching an online platform that will connect and link up all African entrepreneurs in a single digital space for improved networking and exchange of ideas.
Nigeria celebrates independence, but 58 years after liberation, its young people feel excluded from participating in governance and decision making. Even with the recently passed “not too young to run” law, many of the young people believe the future is bleak and the status quo is unlikely to change.
The NGO Project Pink Blue is creating massive awareness and offering free counselling and tests to men in Nigeria as it mobilises resources for the treatment of prostate cancer.
Nigeria is gradually taking the lead in setting up incubation and tech hubs where startups and young people develop software programmes and apps. Roar Nigeria, the first fully fledged university-embedded technology hub in West Africa, is training young tech experts and innovators – despite funding challenges.
Following the invasion of villages and killing of local farmers in Benue by Fulani herdsmen , young girls at the Internally Displaced Persons camps are being married off by their families because of the lack of food, clean water and sleeping materials. The Nigerian government is silent about this and these teenage girls are at risk of contracting HIV/Aids.