For this year’s International Women’s Day, we want to shed light on climate change and migration in relation to gender equality. Therefore, we would like you to meet Folake Idowu-Adebayo, who participated in the Connecting Diaspora for Development (CD4D) project* twice and who has made a true impact.
Folake is a lecturer at Wageningen University – specialized in Food Quality and Design – and a member of the Nigerian diaspora. She has been living in the Netherlands since 2017. As a woman working in the agricultural sector, she is a good example of someone who is breaking the bias. Folake has made a positive impact by inspiring students in the Netherlands and contributing to capacity building in Nigerian institutions.
Folake Idowu-Adebayo completed two CD4D assignments at host institutions in Nigeria. During the assignments, she identified knowledge gaps among staff members in host institutions, introduced work plans, and organized training sessions.
“I made valuable contributions to the capacity building of their staff. Personally, I found this very rewarding because their activities aim at conducting training in vocational skills to farmers, agri-food processors, and other agri-allied groups. With their knowledge, they can improve the lives of the population. I am fortunate to be able to share my knowledge through CD4D2”.
The CD4D project makes an active effort to reach women experts, thereby considering safety risks in countries of origin and allowing virtual assignments next to physical ones. As a result, eighteen women have participated so far in the current CD4D phase, which covers a period of three years. Five of them worked in the agriculture or water and infrastructure sectors. Others are experts in a whole range of different sectors – education, law, health, local governance, or private sector development. And their impact lasts: the CD4D evaluation shows that 78% of the host institutions implemented the diaspora expert’s suggestions.
Her position as a member of the Nigerian diaspora makes Folake Idowu-Adebayo a valuable agent of development. “Because I grew up in Nigeria, I speak the local languages. This makes it easier to introduce and clarify innovations. And that is exactly what the trainees and the host institutions want”.
Moreover, she hopes that the impact she has made in Nigeria will last beyond her CD4D assignments. “It’s an investment for the longer term. The staff I trained will develop into mentors themselves. Through CD4D, IOM gives host institutions a chance to invest in their future and to encourage new generations”.
Folake Idowu-Adebayo is a great example of how migration can be used for the benefit of a more sustainable future. Moreover, Folake Idowu-Adebayo is a role model for the diaspora community and the Nigerian and Dutch public. She has been successful in education, her career, and contributing to development in her country of origin. She is therefore a true inspiration for all of us.
*The CD4D project facilitates short-term assignments by diaspora members at host institutions in countries of origin. During the assignments, diaspora members share their knowledge and expertise with these institutions to address capacity-building needs. Nigeria is one of the CD4D focus countries.