online education

Empowering African Girls Entrepreneurs – The Sahel

As part of the activities of the African Women Transformers Summit and in the margins of the Extraordinary African Union Session on Industrialisation, Economic Diversification and ZLECAF, the African Union Development Agency (AUDA NEPAD) and the Presidency of the Republic of Niger met yesterday morning at the Palais du 29 Juillet in Niamey, a training course for African women entrepreneurs. This two-day training brought together around 100 women entrepreneurs and aims to give them the tools to structure and strengthen their entrepreneurial approach to better manufacturing in Africa.

During this session attendees will be provided with four (4) modules namely How to Develop Your Branding Staff to Boost Your Confidence, How to Improve Your Packaging, Financial Terms. Education” and “How to increase your online sales thanks to a better mastery of e-commerce”. The Executive Secretary of AUDA NEPAD, Mrs. Nardos Bekele-Thomas, gave the opening speech for this training. Nardos Bekele-Thomas recalled that NEPAD has been collaborating with women entrepreneurs on the continent for several years, “whether through the program Gender, Climate Change and Support to Agriculture, the NEPAD-Spain Fund for the Empowerment of Women in 10 years has made possible the disbursement of around 20 million euros, divided into 79 projects in 38 African countries,” she said.

Through this extensive program, AUDA NEPAD has transformed the lives of 1.2 million women across Africa. As an illustration, she mentioned the support project for the socio-economic emancipation of 350 women craftsmen in Niger, thanks to which AUDA NEPAD has helped women from 32 locations in the 8 regions of Niger, whose specialties include basketry, leather goods manufacturing, embroidery textiles, pottery and the manufacture of Cosmetics. “We have supported their efforts to improve their techniques and enabled these 352 Nigerian women to improve the quality of their products, diversify the range of products they offer and enter new markets,” she said.

In addition, according to Ms. Nardos Bekele-Thomas, the NEPAD agency also organized conferences for women in agriculture, which were held every two years before the COVID-19 pandemic. “And today, it’s the transformative, producing, creative, creative women that we support. It’s a very big pride for me,” she said. “I am impressed by your courage and the power with which you chose to believe in and invest in yourself. At every stage of your life you have experienced happy or painful moments that have shaped you, empowered you and allowed you to be women choosing the difficult path that of entrepreneurship,” continued the Executive Secretary of AUDANEPAD.

“I admire that, although I didn’t necessarily choose this path but that of international civil service, I can tell you that I know what it means to be a woman in an unequal world, a world where men are dominant , a world where you have to constantly apologize for being a woman, apologize for having ambition, apologize for wanting to actively participate in building a better world. And I know how effective mentoring, coaching and training can be in transforming a woman’s life into a world designed for and by men. This world, but especially this Niger, is also yours,” concluded the Executive Secretary of AUDA-NEPAD.

Aminatou Seydou Harouna(a P)

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