Economy

UNECA engages women, youths in businesses in W/Africa

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UNECA engages women, youths in businesses in W/Africa

By Témitope Ponlé

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) said the ongoing West African Business Forum aims to help women and young entrepreneurs develop and sustain their businesses.

Ms Ngone Diop, sub-regional director of the West Africa office of ECA, said this in an interview with Nigeria‘s news agency during the Lagos forum on Wednesday.

The forum titled “Empowering Women and Youth to Drive Africa’s Transformation Agenda” is the first in its series.

Diop said the forum highlighted that business growth and prosperity is achieved through the engagement of women and young people in different sectors of the economy.

“Young entrepreneurs, like in IT, are doing very well but there are certain challenges, which I call potential opportunities, that are there but they need someone to really support them, to give them the information and the market, whether regional or continental, for them to grow.

“They should be able to create wealth to contribute to the process of change by using the African Continental Free Trade Area as an anchor to do business to grow, transform, develop the region and the continent.”

The sub-regional director said the forum was a high-level forum that had the support of major actors and several partners and involved several global activities.

“I like to mention that this is not a forum per se; this is not a normal forum because before the hour, there were a lot of full activities.

“I referred to the pre-forum consultation for each sector identifying these key players and having an interaction with them, I mentioned the survey we set up and people filled out the survey, which we All deliver results, as well as the discussions and commitments that we have.

“It gives us what it takes to seek a goal and inform the next step; how we can establish commercial links, what kind of platform we have. It is a high-level regional forum, paving the way for transformation in West Africa.

She expressed the gratitude of the Commission for taking responsibility for achieving results for the benefit of West Africa.

Diop also underlined the importance of everyone’s involvement in the region’s business ecosystem to share a common vision.

“It starts with the usefulness of our people; it provides such great potentials which must be harnessed together.

“Together is important, because meaningful changes or results cannot be achieved alone.

“Everyone has to be on board and have a vision for people to follow and say that this is something that we believe in, we would like to work on it and we are committed to it.”

She reiterated ECA’s “strong commitment” to building trade links and bringing transformation and change to West Africa.

“We have the resources we need. When there are dynamic young people and women in the business ecosystem, the right mix of policies and a single framework, namely the AfCFTA; what it takes is more work and more hard work, ”she said.

Source: NAN

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