The Guardian
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‘WIM Africa to aid move from subsistence manufacturing to industrial production’


Deputy General Manager, Access Bank, Mrs Ope Wemi-Jones

Lafarge Africa Plc has partnered other stakeholders to unveil an independent non-partisan organisation, the Women in Manufacturing in Africa (WIM Africa), to encourage women participating in the real sector to move from subsistence production to large-scale production.

Indeed, the goal is to increase the number of women participating in the productive sector, scale-up and bridge the gap in domestic supply of consumer goods.

Ogun state Commissioner for Agriculture Mrs. Adepeju Adebajo, who pioneered the idea while she was Managing Director at Lafarge Africa Plc said WIM Africa will inspire women to grow, learn, share and inspire each other for the growth of the manufacturing sector.

One of the founding members of WIM Africa, a Deputy General Manager at Access Bank, Mrs Ope Wemi-Jones, said while cultural biases and misconceptions have been driven by both men and women, the onus is on women to challenge the status quo through consistent excellence in their chosen fields.

Another founding member of WIM Africa, the Director of Communications Public Affairs and Sustainable Development, Mrs Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, said WIM Africa will ultimately encourage girls to take keener interest to Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects in primary and secondary schools as way of growing the pipeline of women that take up careers in the manufacturing sector.

The Managing Director of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, commended the WIM Africa initiative. He said Access Bank has always supported gender equality over the years and would support the WIM Africa initiative.

Wigwe said Access Bank’s W initiative which was exclusively designed for the socio economic empowerment of women is proof of Access Bank’s avowed support for women empowerment.

The Country CEO of Lafarge Africa Plc Michel Puchercos, said women if thoroughly empowered could potentially become the engine room of production for any society. He said Africa should take advantage of its huge young female population to advance the cause of manufacturing on the continent.

Executive Vice President Unilever Nigeria and Ghana Yaw Nsarkoh, said Africa stands to benefit tremendously if more women were empowered to hold leadership positions in manufacturing and other sectors.

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