The city of Abeokuta, capital of Ogun State, southwest Nigeria, was agog on Saturday, 30 September, 2023 as the Akanke Women Library and Resource Centre (AWLARC) was officially Inaugurated.
The Centre was an offshoot of Akanke Foundation, which was set up to immortalise the Late Mrs Felicia Akanke Obasa, mother of Honourable Idowu Osuolale Obasa, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Winners Golden Group and Bradford Group.
Mrs Felicia Akanke Obasa died on 30 September, 2018 and the Foundation was set up by her children to immortalise her ideals which centred primarily on education for all, with special emphasis on the girl child education and women education in general.
The Foundation has thus been in operation, empowering less privileged people for five years before the establishment of the AWLARC which was officially inaugurated on Saturday, 30 September, 2023, which coincided with the 5th Anniversary of the death of the Obasa Matriarch.
Speaking during the inauguration, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of AWLARC, Dr Sola Olorunyomi of the University of Ibadan, the Centre has the following aims:
Promotion and encouragement of activities that can add value to women’s life across a broad spectrum; run innovative programmes and learning opportunities that will improve the lives, economic and social well-being of women; and organise education educational workshops and trainings among other people-oriented and women-empowerment programmes.
According to Dr Olorunyomi, “our library’s acquisition outlook is both global and local in the most immediate sense of the environment; the AWLARC library is thus, future-inspired which is therefore multi-media and multi-lingua in orientation”.
He stated further that the documentation unit of the library will provide unlimited research data and research facilities on issues that directly concern women. “We encourage the digitalization of our holdings,” he said.
On advocacy programmes of the Center, Dr Olorunyomi stated that AWLARC will support the education of the less privileged in society, while enhancing the capacity of indigent pupils and students to achieve their educational dreams.
“We’ll also advocate against all forms of discrimination against women; encourage and organise medical screening events for ailments that are known to afflict women based on research outcomes and educate women on issues of rape, diseases, ailments, menopause and other peculiar challenges of women,” he said.
He called for support: financial and material; from government, corporate organisations and individuals as the Centre cannot achieve all the lofty programmes listed above alone.
The inauguration was ignited with the promise of support by the Rotary Club of Abeokuta led by a Commissioners-designate in Ogun State, Honourable Adijat Adeleye.
Apart from Adeleye and the Rotary Club’s support, the Women Research and Documentation Centre Library (WORDOC), of the Institute African Studies, University of Ibadan also assured AWLARC of its support.
Veteran film producer and director, Tunde Kelani also promised to assist the center.