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AfDB, Lagos support funding for women entrepreneurship

By Cleopatra Eki   |   10 October 2016   |   1:11 am
Lola Akande

Lola Akande

To empower and provide solutions for women’s entrepreneurship growth in continent, Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF), has partnered with African Development Bank (AfDB), Lagos Government and others to surmount latent challenges.

Already, AfDB has set aside $300 million Affirmative Action for Women in African (AFAWA).

This was disclosed at the Second AWIEF conference with the theme: “Accelerating Women’s Economic Empowerment in Africa’s Best Interest,” which held at Civic Centre, Lagos.

The event converged African women entrepreneurs, women in business, leaders of thought, investors, SMEs, MSMEs, international development organisations, NGOs, foundations, government policymakers, and the media from across Africa.

The two-day forum addressed current challenges, whereby AWIEF unveiled comprehensive strategies for enhanced economic participation and opportunities for women throughout the continent.

“We are addressing such current challenges as inequalities in access to economic opportunities, less access to finance, technology, market information, business networks, as well as gender bias in education and skills development,” said Irene Ochem, the founder of AWIEF.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode represented by Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Lola Akande said women’s economic empowerment is a circular pillar of sustainable development, poverty alleviation and the achievement of the sustainable development goals. He noted that the forum featured discourse on the implementation and modalities for accessing the $300million affirmative finance action for women in Africa.

With over 10 million women between the ages 16 and 60 in Lagos State, representing the single largest population of women entrepreneurs in Africa,  he assured that “investment in women of our state, the women of Nigeria and indeed women of Africa, will be an inestimable legacy for the work and dedication of your organisation on African continent.”

The governor re-affirmed his commitment to the socio-economic empowerment of women in Lagos, saying: “women entrepreneurs, including those in the informal sector are major contributors to the growth of the Lagos economy. We, therefore, recognise the need to encourage them through gender sensitive policies and programmes that will enhance their productivity and capacity to earn more income.”

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