Since its inception in 2014, the WAFIRA programme has directly benefited, empowered and impacted 1,500 African female Academics and Researchers, in the countries of Nigeria, Ghana, Togo and Benin, and indirectly benefited and impacted thousands more, through the outreach, mentoring, capacity-building and sharing of its knowledge hub by the WAFIRA participants, Alumni, Facilitators, Mentors and Leadership Groups, in each country and across the various host and support Universities and Research Institutes in these countries.
In addition, the WAFIRA Alumni, Facilitators, Mentors and Leadership Groups have extended and sustained the impacts and benefits of WAFIRA through the following innovative and transformative mechanisms:
- Some of the WAFIRA Alumni have set up WAFIRA Clubs in their Universities and Research Institutions, to further entrench the good practices that they have learnt and to further engender a more conducive gender-sensitive environment in their institutions.
- Some WAFIRA Facilitators and Mentors’ have through their own individual efforts, secured additional resources to deliver gender-sensitive training for the male Academics and Researchers in their institutions, in order to enhance awareness, knowledge and good practices in gender equality and Women’s Advancement in their institutions. They have enabled their male Colleagues to learn and share insights, understandings and practical strategies on how they can be effective, enrolled and sustained partners for change in the advancement of their female peers and colleagues. An exemplar is showcased in this Video clip (in French) of Dr. Martine Zandjanakou-Tachin’s (WAFIRA Benin Facilitator and Mentor) work in her institution, the National University of Agriculture, in Ketou, Benin.
- While the WAFIRA programme is targeted at young and emerging researchers and academics (Masters’ level upwards), many of the WAFIRA Alumni have organised mini-WAFIRA workshops for female undergraduate students in their Universities, to further share, disseminate and sustain the good practice strategies, insights and knowledge that they have gained from the WAFIRA programme.
- A good number of WAFIRA Facilitators, Mentors and Alumni have undertaken very high-level and strategic projects, with the support of senior management/ administration in their Universities, to institutionalise, systematise and mainstream gender equality procedures, paradigms, indicators, and institutional capacity-building mechanisms, hence building on the impacts of the WAFIRA programme. Eight of these ‘WAFIRA Champions’ were sponsored to attend, present and showcase their institutional projects at the DIES-DAAD Conference: ‘Female Leadership in Higher Education Management in Developing Countries’, 28-29 June 2017, in Bonn, Germany. Their posters showcasing their institutional activities and presentations are included in the Conference Report, which is at: https://www.daad.de/medien/veranstaltungen/daad_gender_conference_proceedings_2017.pdf