Isimeme Whyte is an alumnus of the prestigious University of Benin where she graduated with a BSc. In Microbiology. She also has a diploma in Public Administration from the Royal Institute of Public Administration (RIPA International) in the UK.
ISIMEME WHYTE: PROFILE
Growing up through her teen years she had the opportunity to be trained by Girls Power Initiative (GPI, Benin) for 3 years. GPI is a feminist Non-Governmental Organisation with the mission to empower children and young females with accurate information and skills from a gender perspective for self-reliance and social action. At her final year at GPI in 2004 she authored a project paper titled “Trafficking in girls”. She also got selected into the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND) young women leadership programme (Kudra project) from where she was nominated for the LEAP Africa Youth Leadership Programme (YLP) where she received mentoring in leadership, negotiation skills, networking, time management, business management and a whole lot of other life-equipping skills.
By this time, she was already a certified peer educator imparting knowledge and inspiring young girls to be the positive change in their society. She became a strong vocal advocate for women and young girls from her undergraduate days at the University of Benin (UNIBEN) where she actively participated in the Student’s Union parliament.
She was also a GPI delegate to India in 2003 on an exchange visit sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation with the theme “Maternal Mortality and Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in India and Nigeria”.
In 2004, while still in UNIBEN, she started her own Non-governmental Organisation, Young Girls’ Foundation Nigeria (YGF Nigeria) to was also a co-producer of a campus magazine, Zest Magazine, that enjoyed wide acceptance and readership from students. Young Girls’ Foundation Nigeria (YGF Nigeria) was an expression of her deepest desire to teach young girls life-management skills, empower them intellectually and socially to make a difference in the society, and for them to have an open friendship with their parents, to influence their peers positively and be equipped to be decision makers in the society.
In 2007, she was selected by the British Council to serve as a youth ambassador for the Belongings Project in the UK and Africa, after a careful and rigorous selection process that saw thousands of youth applications from Africa. On her return to Nigeria from the UK, she put together a program tagged “PARADIGM” which was sponsored by the British Council and Society for Family Health to mark the 2007 World AIDS day.
Isimeme was also involved in many voluntary activities including health care outreaches with Pro-Health International and AM Projects.
She graduated with a BSc degree in Microbiology and had her mandatory National Youth Service Corps experience in Bauchi state.
In 2008 she was appointed as Special Assistant on Non-governmental Organisations under the Comrade Adams Aliu Oshiomhole government of Edo State. Under her watch as Special Assistant on Non-governmental Organisations, amongst other achievements, she brought together all NGOs in the state under the umbrella body of CONGOS (Conference of NGOs) which gave them a common voice and provided a channel for the various NGOs in the state to interface with Government. While she was SA, she led the collation of database of all NGOs in Edo State that was leverage by government house protocol. Through her office, NGOs in Edo state gained leverage to understand governement projects better and how they can develop their projects around the vison of the state Government. She coordinated the trainings of over 150 NGOs to be able to access funds for their projects and assisted in the constitution development and registration of the body. Now she serves as a member of the board of trustees at CONGOS.
In 2011, she was appointed as Social Accountability Officer for the World Bank’s SEEFOR project in Edo State. At SEEFOR, she worked to improve the infrastructure in Edo state, in the health sector and for Erosion control. During the second tenure of Comrade Adams Aliu Oshiomhole she was elevated to Senior Special Assistant on World Bank Projects and made a lot of impact in the state. During her service as SSA on World Bank Projects, amongst other milestone achievements, she ensured the world bank assisted projects were added in state budget, to ensure there is value for money.
In 2013, she was selected to attend the Spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington D.C., USA were she shared her experience with emerging young leaders in the US. She was also a delegate to the United Nation Commission on the Status of Women in 2013 (UN CSW57) and 2014 (UN CSW58) at the United Nation’s headquarters in New York. As a delegate, she facilitated a break-out session on Violence against women, human trafficking and skills development in Africa.
Her passion for social work and human capacity development remained undeterred and led to her founding Genius Hub in 2015. She currently sits on the board of several organisations including Genius Hub and Genius Hub Global Initiative, a social enterprise and NGO respectively; Lady Mechanic Initiative and Conference of Non-governmental Organisations (CONGOs). Genius Hub is an organisation that is involved in skills acquisition and entrepreneurial development and has the mandate to reduce unemployment, enhance self-development and improve self-esteem and dignity in labour, in order to economically empower young persons and women especially. Genius Hub is also involved in advocacy against human trafficking and rehabilitation and reintegration of irregular migrants.
In 2016, Genius Hub reintegrated 245 irregular migrants in collaboration BATN, and in the same year, another 250 irregular migrants were reintegrated in partnership with Edo State Taskforce.
Genius Hub also promotes and assists small businesses and artisans to create markets for them and also facilitates loans through its multipurpose cooperative society. In an effort to reduce illegal migration and trafficking in persons Genius Hub has partnered with the Edo state Task Force Against Human Trafficking and EdoJobs to implement various skills acquisition and development programmes involving women and youths, including victims of illegal migration and Libyan returnees. Genius Hub has also partnered with IDRC/ Action Aid in similar programmes, as well as MADE/DAI, ITF and British America Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATNF). Genius Hub also has a school club in secondary schools known as Genius Hub Junior which is targeted at grooming students with soft skills and developing an entrepreneurial mindset at a young age. With presence in 16 Schools, over 500 students are currently being trained in Genius Hub Junior with trainings in coding, creative designs, entrepreneurship, SDG human trafficking, climate change, HIV, etc. The club also enables young persons channel their energies positively and also encourages the use of technology to solve social issues and reduce social vices in the society. Genius Hub recently concluded a Communication outreach campaign with the UK-Cabinet office in partnership with the National Agency for the prevention of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
With 15 years of experience in social development works and still counting, and certified Master of Entrepreneurship by UNDPA, in 2020, Isimeme Whyte launched “Ewaen Tv”, a mobile app enabling Genius Hub and partners to communicate all that Genius Hub stands for via short movies and livestream channels.
Isimeme Whyte was in 2018 appointed as the Secretary to the Esan West Local Government council of Edo State in view of her numerous sterling qualities and service to humanity, and she is still serving in this capacity.
Her strong desire and life’s mission is to leverage on her leadership and people management skills and over 15 years’ experience in development work, to by all means, bring about positive, progressive and measurable changes in human capacity and social development.