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​Meet the Speakers for TEDxYaba: Maryam Uwais (MFR) Special Advisor to FG, Social Investment

TEDxYaba 2017 is dedicated curating ideas that reflect the innovations and the innovative spirit that have made Yaba an example to other cities in the country. Marayam Uwais is one of the line-up of speakers who will be answering questions on what innovations should be expected in the coming years and how they would impact the lives of ordinary citizens; what these interactions with technology would look like and if we should be intrigued or worried at the event.
Maryam Uwais (MFR) was the Principal Partner, Wali-Uwais & Co, a general practice Law Firm until she was appointed the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments in November 2015. In this function (and working from the office of the Vice-President), she supervises and drives the Federal Government of Nigeria’s special interventions across all the States and Local Government Areas in Nigeria.
These comprise the conditional cash transfer, youth employment (N-Power), the home-grown school feeding and the government enterprise and empowerment programmes, the latter being soft small loans made available to women, artisans, farmers and young entrepreneurs.
 
With a cumulative 37 years of experience that spans diverse sectors but most especially Nigeria’s legal and civil society sectors, Mrs Uwais began her career in 1980 at the Kano State Ministry of Justice as Pupil and thereafter rose to become the Senior State Counsel. In 1988, she joined the Nigerian Law Reform Commission, Lagos, as a Senior Research Officer.
A year later she joined the Banking Supervision department of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for a 9-year period. In 1998, she became the Principal Partner at Wali-Uwais & Co and in 2009, she founded the Isa Wali Empowerment Initiative Ltd in Kano, a not-for-profit organization targeted at women and children (especially girls) in the health, education, access to justice and empowerment spheres.
In the past, she has served as a member and trustee of several not-for-profit organisations, State and Federal Government Committees and pan-African bodies including the Justice Research Institute, Nigerian Women’s Trust Fund, The Coalition Against Tobacco, the Nigeria Leadership Initiative, Bring Back Our Girls Movement, National Human Rights Commission, Kano State Almajiri Committee, Northern Governors Committee on Reconciliation, Healing and Security, The Presidential Advisory Council, The African Union Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child etc.
Most recently, she was appointed member of the Body of Benchers for a 3-year period (the professional body that admits prospective students and regulates the call of graduates of the law school and the legal profession in Nigeria).
Mrs Uwais has done a lot of impactful work throughout her career and has been honoured with several recognitions. They include the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the International Women’s Society in November 2011, Outstanding Leadership Award for contributions to equity and justice and upholding human rights in Nigeria (by the Business and Professional Women in Nigeria Association), in November 2012, the National Human Rights Commission Awardee for ‘Outstanding Contributions in the Advancement of the Rights of Women and Children in Nigeria’ in December 2015.
In November 2014, she was one of the five McNulty Prize Laureates at the Aspen Institute, Colorado, USA, following the achievements of the Isa Wali Empowerment Initiative. In 2011, she was conferred the National Honour of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan GCFR.
TEDxYaba 2017 will hold on August 19th 2017, at Hall 1, Ozone Cinemas, Sabo Yaba, Lagos at 10:00 AM. Visit www.tedxyaba.com for more details.

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