ECA to host West African Business Forum

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Hamid Ayodeji

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), through its Sub-Regional Office for West Africa, has announced its invitation to sector champions in various industries of the economy to be part of a Regional Business Forum structured around high-level meetings, consultations with Business Champions, young people and women from West African business ecosystems.

The three-day forum would be held in Lagos, Nigeria, using both a physical and virtual hybrid format.

The Regional Business Forum, ECA said, will be held in collaboration with strategic partners from across the continent by connecting women and youth, business leaders, the private sector and SMEs.

“The West African Business Forum is the first edition of a series of stakeholder engagements by the Economic Commission for Africa with key business leaders and industry champions in Africa. The theme of the forum is “Empowering Women and Youth to Drive Africa’s Transformation Agenda,” he said.

The Director of the sub-regional office for West Africa of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Ngone Diop, expressed her office’s desire to engage sector leaders in critical sectors of the economy. economy within the West African region, to translate ideas into action around specific interventions designed to build capacity and empower youth and women in the region.

She said the process aims to develop a regional framework and ecosystem, which aims to harness the opportunities of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) as an anchor, to unleash the potential of youth and women. in Africa, as well as to promote the business championship to its maximum capacity for women and young people across the continent.

According to her, the forum would also stimulate regional commitments and strategic partnerships with the private sector to support women and young entrepreneurs with and without experience.

“In order to achieve the expected results, the Forum will take a targeted but broad approach, examining post-COVID-19 pandemic economic recovery strategies, emerging development and investment opportunities in areas around the agreement. African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), key trade sectors such as agro-industrial infrastructure development and social sectors of health and education.

“The specific objectives of the forum include providing a platform that would be used to share business opportunities between women and youth in the region and in Africa in general, while showing success stories of women’s businesses. and young people for cross-learning and impact.

“Identify business champions who are committed to supporting the growth of women and youth and engage them for effective mentoring and dedicated support and define an agreed action plan for monitoring and personalized support for women’s businesses and young people, according to a pilot approach.

“The expected outcomes of this meeting are business leaders identified as dedicated champions of women and young entrepreneurs, agreeing to support them, mentor them to develop their businesses and / or engage in the business sector; and plan together with an agreed pilot approach and will be refined after the forum to implement such a championship initiative, ”added Diop.

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