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WIA to promote women’s involvement in economic growth, create support platforms

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Hafsat Abiola-Costello

To stem patriarchal domination in Africa, Women in Africa (WIA) is set to equip, empower and support African women to engage the world and create a new paradigm with its WIA yearly summit.

Chief Executive Officer, WIA, Mrs. Hafsat Abiola-Costello, explained that the lack of access to credit is not the only hurdle hindering women’s empowerment, but the inability of African women to know what to do and how to do it.

Abiola-Costello told the media ahead of the summit in Marrakech, Morocco, on Thursday, June 27, that the global body, which was created by a French, Ms. Aude de Thuin three years ago, would use the initiative to offer endowment fund to promote and train women entrepreneurs in 54 countries.

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She said: “WIA is a body driven by passion to support the new generation of leading and high potential African women and to guarantee their impact in the service of an Africa anchored in its era, innovative and inclusive.”

The 2019 edition of the summit themed: “How African Women Engage the World and Create a New Paradigm,” is designed to create a platform for participants to network, mediate initiatives and talents, detect new talents, promote intergenerational transmission, support entrepreneurship and parity through its pillars of action.

She said: “African women represent half of the continent’s population and produce 62 per cent of Economic goods, 27 per cent of them in Africa create a business, which is the highest rate on a global scale; 34 per cent high performance when they hold executive positions but unfortunately only 8.5 per cent of them are salaried.

“WIA is set to change the perception and ensure another African story is told. A story celebrating women’s will, talent, potential, actions and commitment to create new businesses and to forge economic, political and cultural alliances with the rest of the world. Our objective is to address these issues during the summit and demonstrate how Africa can benefit from a new and optimistic story-telling to, at last, take over the rightful leadership of its economic future.”

The CEO said that the summit would provide a year-long mentorship plan for entrepreneurs in Africa, as it helps the 54 countries meet future challenges connected to the growing population.

According to her, the United Nations projected that countries’ population would increase greatly by 2021 and most of these people are entrepreneurs. “If we train them now and change the perception, it will affect the economy positively, especially when the population increase further.

“We are looking for how to improve women’s productivity in agriculture and set up funds for women entrepreneurs, how to ensure mandatory education of girls below the age of 16. We feel the need to engage the world in a different way through women,” she said.

She noted that the summit would feature a fundamental change that puts focus on how Africa engages Asia, Europe, U. S and not Africa waiting to be engaged.


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