With hard work and determination, she forged a path to success in the private and public sectors in her country of Nigeria. Now, Amujae Leader Ifeyinwa Maureen Okafor is using her expertise to inspire other women and encourage them to strive for the highest levels of leadership.
Through mentorship, capacity building, and advocacy, Ms. Okafor is passing on the lessons learned from her experience to the next generation of women leaders.
In a recent interview with Pan African Visions, she describes how the Amujae Initiative nurtured her passion for leadership, helped her advance on her journey toward excellence, and inspired her to bring others along with her:
“The greatest lessons I have learned and shared include not to give up on the dream that you have been given. To keep trying, to dream bigger, strive higher, and be comfortable in any room. To … persevere in pursuit of a higher calling.”
Ms. Okafor’s recent inclusion on Business Day’s list of the 50 most inspiring women in Nigeria motivated her “to serve more and to achieve more.” It reinforced her conviction that aspiring women leaders must strive for excellence even if they are likely to face setbacks, she added.
Nigerian women, Ms. Okafor argued, often encounter systemic barriers that hamper their inclusion in public life and undermine their economic and political potential:
“But these challenges present a greater opportunity to right them. So, I acknowledge and support the work of various civil society groups to create more space for women.”
A former Member of the Financial Advisory Committee in the Imo State Government, Ms. Okafor said that in this role she was able to make far-reaching recommendations to support the welfare of women university students, which helped her understand the challenges that young Nigerian women face. Her advice to them is to seek opportunities despite challenges, always strive for success, and uplift other women along the way:
“Chronicle your journey and when you get there… remember to put a ladder down for others to have an easier time getting up.”
Read the full interview here.