As the year 2019 winds down, we at African Women in Leadership Organisation (AWLO) remain in a state of deep reflection. We look back to appraise our year and have so much to be thankful for. We reflect on the good choices we made and the not-so-good. But, above all, it turned out that we made most of the good choices. The people who worked together with us as a team were really amazing and the fact of having them made all the difference in the end. It is at moments like this that the words of Albert Schweitzer come with so much weight and meaning, that ‘at times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person…’
Looking back, we are most thankful for the rare opportunity to cross all of our hurdles and cover a lot of mileage in this year. The first quarter of the year had seen us planning and working towards the AWLO/UN Global Compact Women Forum which took place in New York. We are thankful for great impact that our team and our Organisation had left on participants from across the globe. Our working relationship with the United Nations became further deepened, providing good leverage for more successes that would be recorded for us in the year 2019.
We remain most grateful for the success of our annual AWLO International Women Conference (AWLC). In April 2019, all roads had led to the beautiful city of Kigali in Rwanda. Delegates converged on Kigali for our Conference themed ‘Empowered for Sustainability’ and our entire team of supporters and volunteers turned up with superlative vigour as participants left with memorable impression of the outing.
The success of our AWLO/AEMPIN Leadership training in Banjul, Gambia in May was also a great demonstration of the reassuring backing of our members and warm hospitability of our hosts. Throughout the year, the AWLO continued to make commendable progress on account of constructive feedbacks of our teaming members, followers, volunteers and the open society across the global space, and we feel most privileged to be shown these measures and dimensions of sincere concerns, warmth and affection.
In the midst of these, the AWLO HeForShe Africa Summit held in Lagos, Nigeria in July. Our community of men and women again demonstrated their immense commitment to their belief in our agenda for gender parity. Our meet-and-greet and campaign for greater support for the cause of women by men and women working together, received a massive acceptance and accolades. This was not without the continuous supports from our numerous communities of advocates and members across the globe. With the rock-solid backing and commitment of our members and volunteers, the goal of the HeForShe campaign has since reached beyond boundaries and limits of anti-female prejudices.
The AWLO Diaspora Conference held in Toronto, Canada in September offered us a new opportunity to expand the frontiers of our vision for gender parity and other gender-based agenda. Our reach of influence on men, women and teenagers has continued to be global in nature. To us, this is very much cheering and hope-inspiring that our world is being repositioned towards becoming a gender-friendly community of humans of diverse social, cultural and racial backgrounds and orientations.
It is refreshing and heartening that the month of December came ushering in our inaugural AWLO-500 Capacity-Building Workshop for women. Nothing is more heart-warming and rewarding to us than witnessing the Induction ceremony of new members of the African Women in Leadership Organisation (AWLO) this December, as our partners also received Awards of commendation for their meritorious and selfless contributions.
As we count our numerous blessings this year ending, we say ‘thank you’ and show all our gratitude with hearts full of joy and happiness. As a great team and Organisation, we appreciate our world and our immediate public, peopled with good-spirited persons and partners across different spaces and time zones. Like G. K. Chesterton, we also maintain that ‘thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder’.