African Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) recently hosted a dialogue in Lagos, Nigeria, to mark International Women’s Day and raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities for women entrepreneurs in Africa.
Themed; A decade of economic emancipation of women in Africa 2020-2030, the forum explored how to ensure that women and women-owned businesses are elevated by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), political and economic transformation and that the principle of collectivism is amplified and entrenched.
“We want to discuss meaningful ways to make women benefit from the world’s largest common market for goods and services; and offer a platform for people to connect, share and network,” said Irene Ochem, AWIEF Founder and CEO.
The annual forum aims to reach regional and pan-African influencers to incite dialogue round generational-equality to entrench a sense of collectivism in working towards actionable solutions for gender equality on the African continent.
International Women’s Day #IWD2020 falls on 8 March 2020 with the theme: #EachforEqual, which is the premise that an equal world is an enabled world and that equality is not a women’s issue, but a business issue as gender equality is essential for economies and communities to thrive. Partners to AWIEF for this key event include the Embassy of Sweden in Abuja, AGRA, OCP Group, APO Group.
The AWIEF conference made history in 2019 when it called for the economic empowerment of women to be linked to AfCFTA, at its annual gathering of leading women politicians, businesswomen and entrepreneurs on the continent, 29-30 October 2019, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), Cape Town, South Africa.
The initial call was made by renowned economic activist and social entrepreneur, Wendy Luhabe, from the stage on the first day, for radical action and not just conversation, leading to the adoption on Day 2, by the gathering of influential women of a resolution to be delivered to the Chair of the African Union. Said Luhabe, the Founder of Women’s Private Equity Fund and co-founder WINDE: “Women do not get invited when nations are going through transitions. We have to make a space for ourselves.”
The resolution states that: “The Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), is a monumental milestone on Africa’s developmental roadmap that must be exploited to the full for intra-Africa trade. It will unleash almost unlimited opportunities, new economies of scale, and income and employment generation through greater market and economic integration.”
Gender inequality persists and women and girls continue to shoulder Africa’s burden of hunger and poverty. 2020 – 2030 is the last decade for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The year 2020 also coincides with several important milestones globally and on the continent on gender equality:
- Implementation of the AfCFTA, a monumental milestone on Africa’s developmental roadmap, covering a market of more than 1.3 billion people with combined nominal GDP of USD2.5 trillion.
- Conclusion of the AU’s Decade of African Women.
- End of the commitment made in AU Agenda 2063 of ensuring 50 percent of women’s representation in decision-making by 2020.
To book for this prestigious event click on http://bit.ly/AWIEFIWD20
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