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Heroine of the Week

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Adut Akech is a South Sudanese-Australian supermodel who is working with the UN to help refugees.

A former child refugee herself, 20-year-old Akech was recently featured on Time’s 100 Next List (the only model this year). She made her international debut walking for Saint Laurent during Paris Fashion Week, and in 2019, she was named Model of the Year at the British Fashion Awards.

Dubai-based Shimi Shah was waiting in line at a supermarket check-out when she saw a construction worker – in his overalls – in front of her fumbling with a handful of coins and some notes to pay for the items in his basket. It was obvious he didn’t have enough money for the few things he’d chosen – a packet of crisps, apples, milk and a few packs of fruit juice. He was on the verge of putting some back, staring at the crisps that would surely have to go. Instinctively, she moved forward, telling him to keep them. “I paid for his groceries almost like a reflex action,’’ says Shimi, director of Carousel Solutions, a business consultancy firm. The reason? She is a big fan of the Pay It Forward movement that took off from Catherine Ryan Hyde’s best-seller of the same name, which also spawned the Hollywood hit…

Norah AlOtaibi The Female Engineer Challenging Perceptions in Saudi Arabia The 23rd of January 2020 was a special day for CELD and Amazons Watch Magazine. It was the official launch of the engineering for girls’ network in Abuja, Nigeria. The network is an initiative of Mrs. Furo Giami, the publisher of Amazons Watch Magazine. The magazine is no doubt interested in seeing more female take up courses in STEM, especially in Engineering which has recorded the lowest number of female participation in STEM courses. It is little wonder then that our ‘’heroine of the week’’ is fittingly a female engineer who is challenging the wrong perceptions that most people have about women in engineering. We invite you to meet Eng. Norah AlOtaibi. 34-year-old Norah AlOtaibi is a respected female planning engineer who is making major decisions in an engineering and construction company based in Saudi Arabia. Day-to-day, Norah is on…

The news of the appointment of Ms. Damilola Ogunbiyi as the UN Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of United Nations -Energy, was an exciting way to end the last decade. Ms. Ogunbiyi is the immediate past Managing Director of the Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency. With an extensive leadership experience and a track record of supporting energy access in Sub-Saharan Africa, we felicitate with her and are convinced she is a perfect fit for her new roles. With a track record of firsts (first woman to be appointed as Managing Director of the Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency, and first woman to be appointed as the General Manager of the Lagos State Electricity Board) She is credited for implementing the Nigerian Off Grid Electrification Programme and successfully negotiating the Nigerian Electrification Project, to rapidly construct solar mini-grids and deploy solar home systems across Nigeria. She also developed the…

Keynote speaker at the just concluded SADC Women Summit organized by CELD in collaboration with CLGE. Honourable Gladys Kokorwe , born 28 November 1947 is a Botswana politician who has been the Speaker of the National Assembly since November 2014. Prior to entering politics, Kokorwe was a senior civil servant. She was elected to the National Assembly at the 1994 general election, and served as an assistant minister in the government of Festus Mogae from 1999 to 2004. She was deputy speaker from 2004 to 2008, and then a minister in Ian Khama’s government from 2008 to 2009, when she left parliament. Kokorwe served as Botswana’s ambassador to Zimbabwe from 2009 to 2014, and then re-entered politics after the 2014 election, when she was the successful BDP candidate for speaker. Kokorwe was born in Cape Town, South Africa, where her father (originally from Botswana) was working. She was sent back…

The health and prosperity of humanity are directly tied to the state of our environment. We are at a crossroads. Do we continue on our current path, which will lead to a bleak future for humankind or pivot to sustainable development? That is the choice our political leaders must make, now, said Joyce Msuya, Acting Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) during the fourth UN Environment Assembly meeting held at the organizations’ headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.