AfDB Supports African Women Entrepreneurs in Efforts at Exploring Ways of Enhancing Cooperation with Global Business Leaders

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From: 19/10/2010
To: 23/10/2010
Location: Florence, Italy

Women entrepreneurs constitute one of the key drivers of Africa’s sustainable growth. As Africa’s lead development partner, the AfDB actively supports women entrepreneurs.

Under the AWIB (African Women in Business) Initiative, Bank support to the World Association of Women Entrepreneur’s (FCEM) fifty-eighth congress aims at strengthening cooperation and business partnerships between African women entrepreneurs and global women business leaders.

For the sixth consecutive year, the AfDB is partnering with the FCEM in co-sponsoring its 58th Congress in Florence, Italy, that runs from October 19-23, 2010. FCEM brings together some one million women from sixty countries.

Among 300 women entrepreneurs coming from all over the globe, fifty African business leaders from twenty countries are attending. Participants also include Italian government officials, donors, financial institutions, including microfinance entities and renowned economic experts. The congress is featuring lively debates on the “New Economy and New Ecology.” The event aims at:

  • Promoting existing partnership channels between women;
  • Allowing business-to-business networking opportunities; and
  • Providing insight into challenges facing business women in the new financial and ecological environment.

The event is enabling successful women entrepreneurs to share their experiences and develop new partnerships. The AfDB is strongly committed to gender mainstreaming and economic empowerment. For AfDB President, Donald Kaberuka, “Women entrepreneurs’ participation in African economies is crucial. We are working together for their empowerment. They are working for Africa’s future.” Leila Mokadem, a division manager in the private sector department, for her part, highlights that women in business represent an emerging market and an economic opportunity:

“Most new income growth, post-recession, in the new economy will come from women who save more and spend more on education, health, and family welfare. They need enhanced access to finance and networking to expand their market opportunities,” she said.

This high level forum serves as an opportunity to: raise awareness of the African Women in Business Initiative and discuss avenues for strengthened cooperation between African and World women entrepreneurs; and explore possibilities for networking between world women entrepreneurs, establishing innovative entrepreneurial relations and financial inclusive systems.

At a time when most markets appear saturated, Africa has many underexplored opportunities. The event serves as an ideal opportunity for business women from across the globe to come together in a renewed, inclusive partnership.