‘Women participation in global trade, an opportunity to accelerate development’
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has stated that empowering women under the ‘SheTrades Initiative’ is an opportunity to accelerate the nation’s economic growth and unlock the potential of the captive ability of women who dominate the nation’s non-oil export sectors.
According to the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of NEPC, Olusegun Awolowo, increasing participation of Nigerian women in global trade by lowering the barriers faced by women entrepreneurs at home and internationally, and helping more businesswomen to connect to international value chains, would bolster growth and gender inclusiveness in economic growth.
“Today we are focusing on partnership for better integration of women into the economic fabric of Nigeria through connecting them to global trade. Women are the backbone of practically all economies, especially the informal economy.
Therefore we must join other countries by working together to boldly make women business enterprises a significant contributor to the country’s economy and revenue”, said Awolowo.
Speaking at the just concluded “Empowering Women to Trade through SheTrades Initiative”, which was held in three locations across the country, Awolowo said effort by the Council to achieve the 200, 000 target has started yielding result as the Council and International Trade Centre (ITC) are presently training over 15, 000 women entrepreneurs as part of measures to increase their awareness on the SheTrades platform, improving their visibility and the use of trade intelligence as well as strengthening Trade and Investment support Institutions (TISIs) to enhance policies for benefits of exporting entrepreneurs.
“It is for this reason that taking gender into account matters when developing and implementing trade policy as placing women at the heart of global policymaking will go a long way towards realising the United Nations 2030 Agenda goal of achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls”, he explained.
He identified the key sectors for promotion of women in export to include textiles and apparel, agribusiness, handicrafts, computer data storage units, beauty, make-up & skin-care preparations, information services, telecommunications, computer, and information services, accounting (professional services).
He added that if Nigeria and indeed African women hope to maximize the huge opportunities in international trade, there is need for governments at all levels to recognize women as key players in the economy.