Malala visits Nigeria to advocate girl-child education

Malala Yousafzai,  a Pakistani female education activist, is in Nigeria to advocate for more attention towards girl-child education.

At a visit to the Presidential Villa on Wednesday in Abuja, she held talks with Vice President Kashim Shettima, in company of the UN Secretary General, Amina Mohammed.

The visit was part of activities to mark her 26th birthday celebration.

It may be recalled that she won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize laureate at the age of 17, and as the world’s youngest Nobel Prize laureate; she is also UN Messenger of Peace.

Through her efforts, gender inequality is decreasing, thus allowing females around the world to dig themselves out of poverty and avoid the abuse that accompanies the setting.

“I am here in Nigeria to celebrate my 26th birthday; since my UN speech at age 16, I have been going around the world meeting girls from different parts of the world and raising awareness about the issues that girls face.

“We know that there are more than 120 million girls who do not have access to education right now and just as people spoke out about my education I want them to think about the education of other girls as well.

“ In Nigeria, I am here because girls’ education is important here; it will determine the future of Nigeria.

Malala said she had gone to Borno and met incredible girls, visited their schools and conferred with education activists.

According to her, it is the work of the education activists, girls and civil society and government that gives hope that there can be a better future and education, especially girls here.

The activist said that she was excited to meet the vice president who was supportive of her mission.

She lauded the commitment of government and other stakeholders to improving girl-child education.

On her part, Mohammed said that Malala’s visit was in furtherance of her advocacy for girl-child education.

She said that by the high number of out-of-school children in Nigeria, Malala should be an inspiration for relevant authorities to address the challenge.

“Ten years ago, Malala made her speech at the UN; she is the UN Peace Messenger; this time around you decided on her 10-year anniversary she wanted to make the advocacy for education here in this country.

“We have large number of out-of-school children; we know that the quality of education in the country; this is an advocacy to an administration that is coming in; that believes in education is an important timing.

“ So, her voice, her inspiration, not just to government, but the rest of society, to governors that we met yesterday, is extremely important as this administration begins its journey of the next four years,’’ Mohammed said.

The Vice President said the administration remained fully committed to issues of girl-child education and gender empowerment and will promote same in the policies and programmes of the Federal Government.

“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is fully and unequivocally committed to the girl-child education and gender empowerment initiatives.

“The SDGs goals 4 and 5 will be vigorously pursued by the present administration, he is a passionate and committed advocate of girl-child education.

“He believes in the empowerment of our women. He believes that the prosperity, the respect of every society is directly proportional to the way they treat their women folk.”

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