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Lagos, AWIEF sign pact over AFDB’s Fund


Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode

Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode

Lagos State Government has signed a partnership agreement with the African Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) to prepare women in Lagos with the right technical knowledge to access African Development Bank (AFDB) $300 million Women’s Economic Empowerment Fund set aside for empowering women.

At the signing ceremony, yesterday, the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade, said that the agreement is a milestone between the state and AWIEF and all women in the state.

According to him, the partnership is reaching a major step in line with Governor Akinwunmi Ambode agenda for women in the state, towards their strategic economic empowerment.

He further said that other partnership highlights of AWIEF include training; business coaching and technology transfer of the women through a detailed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).

“Let me assure you all that on the part of Lagos State Government, we are set to honour our own side of the agreement, that is to pay as and when due invoices presented by AWIEF based on the mutually agreed budget, as will be stated out in this detailed project documents, to nominate qualified applicants for the final stage of the application, and to galvanise the acute participation of the grassroots through local government and local council development areas.”

The commissioner noted that exploring the collaborative opportunity in the state to derive maximum benefits for women-owned businesses is indeed a great opportunity for the entire state as it guarantee business and social development, financial freedom for Lagos women among many others.

The founder of AWIEF, Irene Ochem commended the state government for partnering with her organisation in empowering women.

According to her, the biggest challenge women entrepreneur faces is access to fund, which also informed why AFDB came up with opportunities for women to have access to finance.

“We are very passionate about women empowerment and partnering with Lagos with the largest business women is a worthy one,” she said.

Ochem disclosed that the fund is for every businesswomen with no restriction of sectors.

He said that the partnership is important, as it would be about training and capacity building because sometimes the loans are there, but the businesses lack what it takes to access the loan.

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