Co-Founder, African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) and wife of Ekiti State Governor, EreluBisiFayemi, launched the ‘Ekiti Development Foundation’ (EDF), on June 10, 2011. EDF focused on six thematic areas that covered economic empowerment of citizens and promoting the rights of women and girls.
Although EDF was established with sustainability plan and an initial 10-years strategic plan, EDF has only been operational from 2011- 2014 due to the violent conflict that broke-out in the aftermath of the 2014 gubernatorial elections in Ekiti State. Amongst other reasons the violence was an attempt to muscle the civic space and targeted reputable civil society organisations in Ekiti State. EDF’s Office in the State capital was burnt down in 2014 resulting in the management suspending operations, and writing to our International partners to hold existing project support pending the return of an enabling environment toEkiti State.
In the initial 4 years of operations, EDF facilitated landmark success-stories in the 6 thematic focus of the organisation which included advocacy effort that led to the passage and signing into law of the Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill, The Gender-Based Violence Prohibition Bill, and the HIV Anti-discrimination Bill. Some of these feats were a first time occurrence at state level in Nigeria, making aEkiti State a pace-setter in Women’s empowerment.
On the return of enabling environment for active civic participation ushered in by the return of the Dr. John KayodeFayemi administration on 16th October, 2018, the top level management of EDF decided to re-instate operations with a more strategic thematic focus and a 4-years plan to support the administration inleapfroging development focusing on Women and Youth.
EDF will continue to support civil society organisations, cooperatives’, associations, networks, and community based groups. The foundation will continue to work with and support smaller non-governmental organizations based in Ekiti State financially and through capacity-building to ensure these organizations achieve their aims of helping the people of Ekiti. In addition, the foundation will resume providing technical assistance and support to the Ekiti State Government in the area of implementing programs related to Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality. EDF take advantage of the state’s human and cultural resources to promote arts and culture.
An Ekiti State where all marginalized and indigent Women and Youth are empowered, while living and thriving under the conditions of dignity and social Justice
To work with civil society organisations, community-based groups and governments to improve the quality of lives of the people of Ekiti State
- To support initiatives which empower women and youths in the state economically.
- To promote the rights of women and enhance their leadership capacities by strengthening existing legislative and policy framework for gender mainstreaming
- To support the development of women and youth led enterprises through investment in knowledge economy
- To boost the delivery of health care and services to women in the State.
- To provide agency and advocate for the Education and Training of young girls as regards violence and sexual abuse
- To promote art, culture and literacy
EDF Commitment remains – Keenly targeted at all indigenes of Ekiti, however there is strong emphasis on women and Youth.
The Land of Honour
Ekiti is one of the thirty six Federating units in Nigeria, created on October 1, 1996 with Ado-Ekiti as the capital. With a population of over two and half million people, Ekiti takes pride in its socially and culturally homogenous nature. In terms of culture, Ekiti state is among the richest in Nigeria with a variety of traditional arts, music, poetry, and witty sayings. This rich culture is further evidenced by our over fifty traditional festivals that hold annually in the State. The main occupation of the Ekiti people is agriculture; they are also good wood carvers, blacksmiths, ornamental potters, mat weavers and basket makers. Ekiti State has sixteen Local Government Areas and it is blessed with many natural resources. Few of which are : Cocoa, Timber, Oil Palm, Rubber, Kaolin, Clays, Bauxatic Clay, Feldspar, Quartzite, Germ stones, Dimension Stones, Foundary Sand, Charnochite Granite, Cassiterite and Tin Ore Etc.
EDF (2.0) Thematic Focus
- Policy and Advocacy Programs
Under this thematic focus EDF will continue to promote the Rights of Women and Girls and enhance their Leadership Capacities
- EDF will partner with the Ekiti State AIDS Control Agency (EKSACA) to reach grass-root communities and improve project outcomes
- EDF will seek to strengthen the existing laws that promote the rights of women in Ekiti State by increasing the advocacy effort for Gender Mainstreaming, support the harmonization and design of an easily comprehensible framework for Gender-Based Violence incidence reporting and persecution, and also support the re-constituting of the Ekiti State Gender Action Committee.
- EDF seeks to support and facilitate capacity building programmes for Ekiti Women in Leadership positions.
- EDF will also give special attention to initiatives aimed at stemming the tide of Teenage pregnancy in Ekiti State.
- Community Initiatives
Under this thematic focus, EDF will facilitate and support initiatives that improve the general wellbeing and socio-economic standing of Ekiti state citizens
- EDF will facilitate the Food Bank Initiative – ‘OunjeArugbo’
- Skills Training and Development
- Health and wellness advocacy (Campaigns on safe motherhood to lower maternal and infant mortality rates in the State;
Sensitisation campaigns on cancers which mostly affect women, such as breast, cervical and ovarian cancer;
Provision of mobile health clinics to support the government’s efforts, particularly in remote areas and market places)
- Revive the Multiple Birth Trust Fund (MBTF)
- Revive the Indigent Trust Fund
- Youth Engagement/Development
EDF will engage in activities and support initiatives that improve the socio-economic standing of young people (Men and Women) in Ekiti state through:
- Mentoring & Leadership Programs
- Facilitate the establishment of the Ekiti Innovation and Enterprise Hub as a Public/Private partnership
‘Ekiti Social Innovation and Enterprise Hub’:The goal of the hub is to build a community of social innovators and Entrepreneurs in Ekiti State leveraging technology to provide business solutions and solve social problems. The hub will be structured to jump-start the Knowledge Economy drive of the administration by operating as an innovation centre for accelerating the application of social capital and technology for economic prosperity. It will also function as an eco-system for start-ups providing business and legal advisory, shared Office Spaces, Meeting rooms, and event Space, and provide a collaborative environment for individuals with innovative solutions, in Ekiti state. The hub will also serve as platform for facilitating National and International investment for youth-led enterprises.
- Popular Culture and Writing
EKITI State has a lot of untapped potentials in the exploration and exposure of its rich cultural heritage, and EDF will focus on;
- Supporting and Promoting the Annual Ekiti Arts and Culture festival: The event will Showcase the skills and talents of Ekiti women and youth as weavers, sculptors, painters, potters etc.;
- Support the annual JKF Essay Competition
- Assisting with the development of markets for cultural products made in Ekiti State;
- Documenting the rich history of the state in previously under-utilised formats such as music, dance, film, documentaries, etc.; Encouraging girls in the state to engage in various sports; Supporting sports facilities for young people
Reconstituting the EDF Board of Directors
- Erelu Bisi Fayemi (Chairperson)
- Tokunbo Gbadamosi (Secretary)
EDF (2.0) resource mobilization Plan
EKITI Development Foundation will rely on contributions from a range of partners, including Governments, the private sector, donor agencies, philanthropic institutions, individuals, and the Ekiti Diaspora. Whilst undertaking a range of programmes to achieve its objectives within the stated thematic areas, ultimately EDF’s work will focus on supporting the present administration for the next 4 Years.