Launch of 50 Million Africa Women Speak: Nigeria Can Provide the Women, Says ECOWAS Head of Security and Civil Society
A speech presented by Raheemat Momodu, Head of Division/Human Security and Civil Society, ECOWAS at the National Media Launch of the 50 Million Africa Women Speak Platform Project Held at Exhibition Pavilion, Beaide International Conference Centre, Opposite Radio House, Abuja on 20th February, 2020
Appreciated the result of the African Continental Study conducted by the African Continental Bank which noted that in several African countries there is near gender parity in the field of entrepreneurship
The study also reveals to us that female Entrepreneur still face certain gender related obstacles notably poor education and entrepreneur training, legal barriers that compromise economic activities or cultural barriers that hinders their progress in business.
It is difficult for woman as a result of these constraints to access financial and non-financial services. This greatly affects the size and prosperity in business initiated by women.
In another report published by the World Bank, it indicated that 70% of SMEs owed by women in developing countries don’t benefit enough from the services offered by financial institutions resulting in a deficit of about $285m in funding.
In sub-saharan African, this financial deficit with regard to women is estimated to be more than $20bn and probably more porous at the young woman entrepreneurs.
The 15 member ECOWAS state has accepted to host and implement this project called 50 million African Women Speak funded by the African Development Bank
And by the way, Nigeria alone can supply this 50 million and it will be our goal to provide the fifty million while the rest countries come and tag along.
The objective of the project of this project is to facilitate the empowerment of women through the creation of a virtual platform for networking and information sharing in other to improve the ability to access support from financial institutions.
To achieve this objectives, ECOWAS has in turn assisted each of the fifteen member states in setting up its country team to coordinate at the national level the activities of this project on one hand and recruit a Consultant to help the County’s team in the collection of information on the other hand.
After several months of work, we have been able to collect and integrate into the platform fifty million African speak into the financial and non-financial information useful for woman Entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
In addition, all the data can increase business creation and investment opportunity on the African continent and beyond. This same exercise was carried out in each of ECOWAS Countries and in EAC, those are our two regional bodies that are part of the implementation of this project.