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Report: Roundtables “Gender of/in African cities”

IFRA-Nigeria organised two roundtables themed on “Gender of/in African cities” a the Institut Français du Nigeria in Abuja and at the Alliance Française/Mike Adenuga Centre in Lagos, in the frame of the series of events funded by the Fonds d’Alembert 2019, in partnership with the French Embassy in Nigeria and IFRA-Nigeria which focuses on “Futures of cities/cities of the future in Africa”. The two roundtables were held in Abuja on Tuesday 9th of April and then in Lagos on Saturday 13th.

The main objective for the two events was to interrogate the concept of gender in African urban contexts, starting from the case of Nigerian cities. The two roundtables gathered academics, artists, activists and urban practitioners to discuss divers questions such as the space for women in African cities, the accessibility and the inclusivity of public spaces from a gender perspective and the gender parity in professions of those who “make the city” (urban planners, architects, engineers) and among those who govern it.

One must recall that the “Right to the City” for individuals, regardless of their gender, is part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations as expressed by SDG 5 « Achieve Gender equality and empower all women » and SDG11 « Make cities safe, resilient and sustainable ». Inclusivity also represents one of the three pillars of the concept of “Sustainable City”, together with the economic and the ecological dimensions.

Roundtable « Gender in/of African Cities » in Abuja, Tuesday 9th of April 2019

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IFRA-Nigeria, together with the French Development Agency (AFD) jointly organised the first roundtable on “Gender of/in African cities” which was held as a breakfast-debate at the Institut Français du Nigéria in Abuja in the morning of the 9th of April 2019. This first roundtable gathered Prof. Myriam Houssay-Holzschuch, a professor in geography at the University of Grenoble who has conducted extensive research on the production of segregated spaces in South African cities (notably Cape Town), Akudo Oguaghamba, founder and executive director of the NGO Women Health and Equal Rights Initiative (WHER) and activist for gender-minorities, as well as Olufunke Baruwa, CEO of the Nigerian Women Trust Fund, project manager at USAID and specialist of women’s rights with a special focus on questions of governance and female leadership. The debate was moderated by Dr. Philip Ademola Olayoku, doctor in Peace and Conflict Studies and researcher at the Kukah Centre in Abuja. 

The event was introduced by Pascal Grangereau, director of the AFD in Nigeria. This first event gathered about 50 people including some representatives of local NGOs working for women’s rights such as Education as a Vaccine (EVA), WHER, House72, USAID etc.


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Photo 1: Dr. Philip Ademola Olayoku introducing the panel at the first roundtable in Abuja. From left to right: Dr. Philip Ademola Olayoku, Okudo Oguaghamba, Pascal Grangereau, Funke Baruwa and Prof. Myriam Hossay-Holzschuch

Photo 2: The audience for the first roundtable “Gender of/in African cities” at the Institut Français du Nigéria in Abuja.

Roundtable « Gender in/of African Cities » in Lagos, Saturday 13th of April 2019

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IFRA-Nigeria, together with the French Cultural and Cooperation Attaché of Lagos M. Sennacherib and the Alliance Française of Lagos, organised the second roundtable on Saturday 13th of April, from 5pm to 7pm at the Alliance Française/ Mike Adebuga Centre.

The panel for this roundtable was composed of Ireti Bakare-Yusuf, founder of #NoMore234ng (the Nigerian response to the #MeToo movement), journalist, TV and radio broadcaster and feminist activist, Tabia Princewill, journalist, strategic communication consultant and special assistant to the secretary to the Lagos State Government, as well as Prof. Myriam Houssay-Holzschuch (University of Grenoble). The event was moderated by Molara Wood, journalist, editor and author.

The event was introduced by Dr Emilie Guitard (IFRA-Nigeria) and welcomed over 80 people, including the Consul of France in Lagos Laurent Polonceaux, the Director of the Goethe Institute Friederike Möschel, but also Yemisi Ransome-Kuti (cousin of Fela Kuti and niece of Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, a pioneer in the fight for women’s rights in Nigeria) and other Nigerian personalities involved in feminist movements. The event was closed by a few words from the famous Nolywood actress Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, who is also committed for gender equality in cinema.

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Photo 3: Dr. Emilie Guitard (IFRA-Nigeria) introducing the topic of the roundtable

Photo 4: Panellists for the second roundtable “Gender of/in African cities”. From left to Right: Molara Wood, Prof. Myriam Houssay-Holzschuch, Tabia Princewill and Ireti Bakare-Yusuf

Photo 5: Audience at the at the new Alliance Française /Mike Adenuga Centre

Photo 6: Closing remarks from the Nollywood actress Omotola Jalade Ekeinde









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