First Lady, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari was in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates to participate in the Dubai Expo 2020 and to review partnerships of the Aisha Buhari Foundation and Future Assured Programme.
The First Lady met with officials of Merck Foundation and Mohammed Rashid Al Maktoum Global Foundation between 14th and 17th February 2022.
Her meeting with Senator Rasha Kelej, President of Merck Foundation was a follow-through on the existing partnership on the campaign against stigmatization of women with infertility. The First Lady lauded the awareness creation programme for Nigerian journalists saying journalists should own the campaign and help sensitize society against the problem.
“Our joint project with Merck Foundation on creating media awareness among Nigerian Journalists was successful. It led to a robust online engagement culminating in two cycles of competitions for Electronic, Print, and Social Media practitioners; we must do more,” She said.
The First Lady added that the Future Assured programme is collaborating with the 36 state Governor’s wives to ensure zero tolerance to the stigmatization of women suffering from infertility.
Other issues discussed include the need to focus attention on endocrine disorders, the need to strengthen the campaign on girl child education and against early marriages, as well as women empowerment through various skills acquisition programmes.
Mrs. Buhari commended the efforts of the Merck Foundation across the African continent
At her meeting with Al Mana Mohammed, the Head of the e-Learning Centre in Dubai, Mrs. Buhari learnt that the Hub came to life during the COVID19 pandemic when movement was restricted and institutions closed. Mr. Mohammed said during that period, the education system broke new grounds through innovation, leading to the expansion of digital and online platforms.
Such innovations by the government of the UAE recalibrated the education system and presented countries like Nigeria with an opportunity for replication by academic institutions and relevant agencies.
Mrs. Buhari told Mr. Mohammed that Future Assured programme has an education empowerment programme that supports youths to pass post-secondary school transition examinations and is largely run through digital platforms, she expressed the belief that e-Learning and digital learning have come to stay.
Mrs Buhari also visited the Youth Hub, where she was received by Dr. Abdullah Ashrif, President, Dubai Youth Council Authority. The President indicated the intention of the Mohammed Rashid Almaktoum Global Foundation to connect with youths across Africa and expressed the belief that Nigeria as the gateway to Africa will provide a window through which the rest of Africa can be accessed. He, therefore, noted that a partnership with Nigeria is a partnership with the rest of Africa.
At the Dubai Expo 2020, the First Lady visited Nigeria’s Pavilion and called on Nigerian women to invest in entrepreneurship as a way of supporting their families. She noted that economic self-reliance helps women to raise better families.
Mrs. Buhari noted that Nigeria is gradually moving away from oil as a revenue earner and called on women to take advantage of the present agricultural revolution in the country. She noted, happily, that most of the products on display were made by women and called on more women to embrace entrepreneurship and position themselves financially for the future.
At the event, Nigeria’s Ambassador to the UAE, Muhammad Dansanta Rimi, commended the First Lady for visiting the Pavilion, saying it will go a long way to motivate Nigerian women. He also commended her humanitarian and empowerment programmes which have reached many Nigerian families.
The First Lady also met with Dr. Manal Taryam Shamsi of Noor Dubai Foundation to receive an update on the progress of their intervention in Katsina State with regards to the ophthalmology project (different eye surgeries) and was told that over 400 people have benefitted so far.
Some wives of governors from across the country accompanied the First Lady to the event saying they have learnt a lot from the trip and will cascade their experience to women in their respective states.
Mrs. Buhari and her delegation have since returned to Nigeria.
Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
(Office of the First Lady)
February 21, 2022