The Nigeria chapter of the New Faces New Voices (NFNV) Women in Finance Network, one of the Pan-African women networks under the Graça Machel Trust (GMT), which focuses on expanding the role and influence of African women in the financial sector, is set to host its maiden Women in Business, Export and Finance Summit (WIBEF Summit).
The Summit which is themed: “Build Locally,Think Globally” is supported by United Parcel Service (UPS) and the Graça Machel Trust (GMT); it is scheduled for October 24-25, 2019, in Lagos, Nigeria and will also feature side exhibitions by banks and other financial institutions as well as women-owned business products and solutions.
Aishatu Debola Aminu, the Country Director of NFNV-Nigeria says the Summit’s major goal is to bring together, “Women in business, trade, export and finance for brainstorming sessions, capacity building and networking so as to address challenges around access to finance and market among women engaged in business, trade, export and finance in Nigeria and West Africa.”
Aminu adds that the Summit was informed by the outcome of NFNV Nigeria’s West African women in cross-border trade stakeholders roundtable, held in September, 2018 at Dakar, Senegal as well as a follow-up capacity building training for West African women in cross border trade held in Abuja, Nigeria in October 2018; she said both events revealed huge gap and weaknesses in the areas of access to market and finance among West African women.
Her Excellency Hajiya (Dr) Amina Namadi Sambo, a former Nigerian second lady and NFNV-Nigeria Grand Patron and Mr Charles Adeogun-Phillips, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of NFNV-Nigeria, will serve as Chief Hosts for the Summit. Her Excellency Mrs Graça Machel, Founder of GMT/NFNV will serve as Special Guest of Honour while Ms Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) will be the Summit’s Keynote Speaker.
Moreover, Mrs Cecelia Akintomide, former AfDB’s Secretary General and Vice President and current member of NFNV Nigeria’s Board of Trustees, will be the Guest Speaker. Other speakers are Dr Shungu Gwarinda, CEO and Director of Programmes at GMT/NFNV; Mrs Adebisi Ajayi, Head of Gender Desk at Bank of Industry (BOI); Mrs Lethicia Onu, Head of Women in Export at the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC); and Mr Ralph Ozoude, Special Projects Manager for West Africa at United Parcel Service (UPS).
Mrs Tinuola Ajayi-Thompson, Chairperson of the Summit’s Local Organizing Committee say the thrust of the Summit is “bringing women together to encourage collaborative efforts, opening up of opportunities for new initiatives and business partnerships whilst ensuring the participants are exposed to multiple funding options in the marketplace and that they are able to access such funds.
“The summit aims to bring to the women in attendance, information, links and contacts to sustainable, preferably interest free monies, via grants or in worst case scenario, single interest digit priced loans. Key players and policy makers in this regards are expected from both within and outside the shores of Nigeria as speakers and discussants,” said Ajayi Thompson.
West African Women in business, export and finance who wish to participate in the WIBEF Summit can register here
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