VP Taylor Gets ‘Excellence Award’
-Calls For Urgent Action On Girls’ Education
Liberia’s Vice President, Jewel Howard Taylor is a proud recipient of the 2018 African Achievers Award for Excellence in Leadership and Community Impact.
The VP has heralded the transformative effects of investment in girls’ education; as a catalyst to unlocking the growth and development possibilities across Africa and the developing world. Speaking at the Palace of Westminster in London Thursday at an event marking the recognition of leading personalities who are reshaping the narrative of development in Africa – under the aegis of the African Achievers Awards, Chief Jewel Howard-Taylor asserted that the pioneering contributions of women leaders around the world continue to create the platform for increased and productive women leadership in governance, business and leadership generally.
Amid repeated applause, Madam Taylor reflected on the pioneering contributions of women leaders globally “Each of them signifies the brilliance, determination, commitment and dedication women bring to the table when given the opportunity to lead. Women leaders of today, stand on the shoulders of others before them”, the Liberian Vice President indicated.
According to her, the alarming figures of about 16 million girls languishing out of school in Africa, begs the question and such unique gathering of decision makers around varying fields from the continent must seize the moment to act where it matters most. This picture, Madam Howard- Taylor opined, is a tragedy that must be tackled sooner rather than later.
The former Liberian First lady and Senator of Bong County had previously received several recognitions at home and abroad, in honor of her unrelenting efforts in advancing what she emphasized, was the enormous potential and possibilities of women and girls.
Reminding the gathering at the House of Commons, she added that ”in many countries around Africa today, “girls just simply do not go to school: Simply because, they’re girls”!
She told the forum that stories still abound about boys being given the upper hand ahead of girls in accessing education in Africa; noting that such deep seated and unproductive cultural mind-set, robs society of the huge potential of tomorrow’s women leaders, wives and productive citizens and care-givers
Unraveling the unique context of African girls’ struggle to make it to school, Dr. Howard-Taylor asserted that there were certainly “Stella examples that demand the girl child in Africa must not only be given the opportunity to go to school, but as well, must be given the chance to rise and soar in her chosen field; despite the deep cultural, economic and political circumstances afflicting them; she also challenged the audience to consider the multiplicity of benefits associated with reversing the current state of the Africa girl child.
Additionally, VP Taylor affirmed that the world is also missing out on the enormous potential for growth and development, by leaving behind girls. “The world is losing out on the potential and contributions of half of its population.” Citing the recent report of Africa Aid, Chief Howard-Taylor noted “that girl’s education leads to higher incomes, delayed marriages, fewer children, healthier families, reduced health risks and reduced poverty.”
Meanwhile, recounting her twenty years endeavor to reshape the prospects of under-privileged girls, the Excellence Award Winner, indicated that sometimes, such interventions were overwhelmed by the extent of the challenge; engendering the audience to adopt key policy and individually targeted contributions to confront the sad state of affairs regarding education for girls in Africa.
She named the elimination of extreme poverty in Africa: bringing down the barriers of biases around girls’ education; celebration of women of excellence referencing the huge international influence of the African Achievers Award, as well as strengthening early childhood education.
Madam Taylor also added that networking was critical to eventually carve out and implement a new beginning for girls education across Africa; noting that changing the narrative for girls education has become a matter of urgency.
The 2018 edition of The Africa Achievers Award was Chaired by Susan Fajana Thomas, Chairperson, African Achievers Awards Board.
Other honorees of the night included, Ghanaian business mogul, Ibrahim Mahama, Industrialist of the Year. The leader of Nigeria’s Houses of Representative, Hon Femi Gbajabiamilaa, was recognized for his outstanding performance in the Nigerian Legislature.