Ekpong: Ratio of Women in Politics is Low

Prof Monique O. Ekpong

Her Excellency, Ambassador Professor (Mrs) Monique Ekpong is a Professor of English. She was born on March 30, 1950 and hails from Idum, Mbube in Ogoja Local Government Area of Cross River State.

Mrs Ekpong started her political service at the grassroots, as Commissioner in the Teaching Service Commission, where she made history as first female commissioner in Cross River State. She has also been a Member of Ogoja Local Government Council Caretaker Committee.

An academician; from being the Director of Schools in the old Polytechnic Calabar, she rose to become the Dean of Communication Arts in Cross River University of Technology. Her expertise and wealth of experience was then sought after by the state government to serve as Member of the Cross River Think Tank between the year 2002 and 2015.
Mrs Monique served as Professor of English at Veritas University, Abuja, before her appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari, as Nigerian Ambassador to Angola. She fielded questions from Nseobong Okon-Ekong

In Africa generally, would you say the role and representation of women in politics (both locally and in the continent) have evolved significantly?

The ratio of women in politics is quite low especially here in Africa, it is advised that more women are given more leadership opportunities so as to add their quota to the development of the African continent.

In your first role as a diplomat, what do you find most interesting?

The Angolan People are very understanding and cooperative. The Angolan relationship with Nigeria is very cordial. Recently a very sensitive request was made by me to the President as regards restoring flights between both countries and this was granted without a blink of an eye lid by the Angolan President. Both countries understand and have high regard for each other.

In what ways can Nigeria strengthen relations with Angola?

Nigeria and Angola can strengthen their relationship by increased businesses between both countries, quicker issuance of visas and documents for indigenes of both countries.
This eases travel, businesses and even tourism between both countries especially as they are both leading oil producers in the continent.

Have discovered peculiarities between Nigeria and Angola? In what ways can these be promoted?

The peculiarities between both countries include the weather, the skin colour of the main natives, the style of dressing, the business sense and the style of governance.

What about the sectors of education and tourism, what collaboration is possible between the two countries?

Having schools in Nigeria that teach Portuguese as well as having schools in Angola that teach our 3 thee major languages (Igbo, Hausa,Yoruba) would help increase ties and ease language barriers between both countries.

Is there a personal unique way through which you promote Nigeria in Angola, for instance appearance (dress sense) and/mannerism?

I always dress in my traditional outfits when going for public functions to promote our Nigerian culture

What is the population of Nigerians in Angola and what are most them involved in?

Nigerians are mainly involved in businesses (spare parts, building materials, provisions) and real estates