African Women Entrepreneurs converge on Nigeria to access regional,continental trade agreement.

The Federation of Business Women Entrepreneurs(FEBWE) across West Africa Countries on Tuesday converged on Lagos, Nigeria for a 2-Day workshop on access to regional and continental markets on the current trade agreement.

Penpushing reports that the workshop scheduled between 8-9, 2023 under the auspice of Economic of West African States (ECOWAS) had participants from Nigeria, Guinea, Ghana, Cote D’Ivorie, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Cabot Verde, Burkina-Faso, Benin Republic, Togo, Mali, Liberia, The Gambia, Niger, Sierra Leone and Mauritania.

The well attended workshop was funded and supported by European Union(EU), USAID, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Cooperation Germany-ECOWAS and also implemented by World Bank Group and German Technical Cooperation
Penpushing further reports that President of Federation of Women Business Entrepreneurs(FEBWE) Iyalode Alaba Lawson in her welcome speech appreciated all participants and organisations which supported the workshop abd  explained that  its essence is on how to go about free movement of goods within the region.
The first female National President of Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture(NACCIMA) emphasized that the workshop will also addressed many problems hindering activities of the women entrepreneurs, and charge West Africa to be ahead of other regions when it comes to African Continental Free Trade Area(AfCFTA) agreement
“We should be ahead of any other regions  when it comes to AfCFTA. Women  can come together  with determination. My charge to women is to move on and shun distraction towards their success”, Lawson emphasized.
Penpushing also reports that the Country Director of Cooperation Germany-ECOWAS represented by Dangana Raymond,  a Private Sector Advisor in his speech explained that the programme was designed and aimed at improving free and efficient movement  of goods  in the region  and internationally by reducing the time  and cost of trade born by the private sector in West Africa, as well as strengthening  the ability of regional  trading networks to take advantage  of these improvements
“With new trade agreements and other socio-economic developments in the region continent and around the globe .It is becoming increasingly  necessary that stakeholders  in the ECOWAS  region be informed  about these key emerging  trends  and processes  and to understand the implications to the national economy and their lives”, he noted
“As a major step towards achieving a customs union, ECOWAS member states have recently adopted the community customs code, a document adopted with the guidance of the commission in line with the World Trade Organisation Trade Facilitatiob Agreements and the revised Kyoto convention’ the Director stated.
Penpushing reports that President and Chairman Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Asiwaju Michael Olawale-Cole in his remarks pointed out that the future of Africa is the hands of women entrepreneurs, hence, they should not give up stressing that the more they are together the more they become stronger
“I have said many times at various  occasions that future of the world particularly in Nigeria  is in the hands of women because many of times men have failed us, usually  women have fear of God and moreover women are more coordinated,and therefore looking for a day when Nigeria will have female President”, Olawale-Cole said.
The chambers boss commended the leadership of Federation of Women Business Entrepreneurs(FEBWE) for the initiative of the workshop, and charge women entrepreneurs not to give up inspite of challenges being faced,stressing that their coming together as one united family will pave way for them in realising their desire aims and objectives.
Penpushing further reports that at the workshop was a lecture titled, Introduction of the AfCFTA and Current State of Play”, delivered by Dr Ken Ukaoha,as well as the Secretariat of African Continental Free Trade Area(AfCFTA) with a presentation in understanding trading opportunities and market access instruments within the continent.
The day one of the workshop was added with a glamour and educative highlight event which was the launch of maiden edition of Federation of Women Business Entrepreneurs(FEBWE) magazine dedicated to a frontline Nigerian woman entrepreneur, Chief(Mrs) Chinwe Ezenwa, Chief Executive Officer of renowned Le-Look Nigeria Limited, a manufacturing company established on October 1,1985
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