I was travelling with Juliet Makhapila who facilitated this trip for Face of Kenya UK to be represented. We set off on the 29th of June and arrived in Port Harcourt Nigeria ready for the EEI Forum. The first day of our trip was mainly for networking and getting to know everyone in the team. It is interesting how small a world it is for like minded to meet in a forum as such all with a common goal. Every single person on the team had an interesting portfolio. This was surely the A-team.
First day of forum was on the 1st of July. The speakers on the day were prominent people from all over the world. The Chinese speaker talked about how they can invest in africa and made one very remarkable quote "if you walk alone you'll walk fast but if you walk together you can walk far"
The 2nd day of forum started with an infrastructure tour of Port Harcourt which was very impressive. The river state governor has surely done a splendid job. It was impressive how port harcourt is being managed and this is the sign of a very well and fast developing state with great leadership. This is definitely a wake up call for other parts of Africa especially with part of his work being mainly focused on education and developing of very well equipped public schools which is extremely conducive for education for the common child. This is also a cause that is very close to heart and I would hope that it serves as a learning ground in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
The women's session came later on and this had the most overwhelming attendance. This portrays something... The women are ready and willing to move forward hand in hand with the river state governor. They need the support and that was their main concern. They have the know how, skills and knowledge but they need to be motivated and guided. And I would only hope that the river state governor can work with the women as they are the backbone of the family, the state and hence the country as a whole.
The speakers showed so much concern and motivated the women. Talking of how a small business vent or could turn into a multi million company. And they were right! The women of port harcourt agreed to work together as well as with the government and they were urged to join a political party in order to express their views and any issues they might have.
The final day I was mostly interested in the youth forum. This was for youth empowerment and to discuss the opportunities that were available for the youth. As the face of kenya uk, my platform was on youth empowerment and I was very keen to find what investment opportunities were available for the youth in africa as well as the diaspora.
I had an opportunity to meet some young innovative people likely my self. One youth lady was Cameroonian but had moved to port harcourt in search of business Opportunities. She has since set a cleaning company and is doing very well. She is hoping to expand the business to other parts of river state. With the kind of motivation she has she surely will be a strong and successful business woman. Another young lady was a model agency manager and I came to find out that she was responsible for providing the ushers in the forum. Her story was amazing as she told me she only started with a few models and now she had a full blown model agency. She has plans underway to expand her business and go global. This was definitely the kind of youth empowerment I want to be invoked with. These were ambitious young women with a whole load of success already resting on their shoulders. It was great motivation for me as well.
The trip to Port Harcourt had definitely served it's purpose in my eyes. I gained so much more than I could have imagined from the EEI forum.
Although short lived this was a life changing experience and I would be gutted if I turned down the opportunity. I would want to thank Juliet, Sunny, Samuel giving me an opportunity to be a delegate in this very successful forum and the river state government for the hospitality. I also would like to Thank Face of Kenya UK for making my reign close at a high, as we welcome face of Kenya 2014 Jesca Kiplagat.