The 2nd Women In Africa (WIA) Initiative Summit
Rely on African women for developing the continent
The Women In Africa Initiative Summit was held in Marrakech, on 27 and 28 September 2018. About 400 women and men from 70 countries among which 52 African attended and participated in varied and complementary programs to feed their thoughts, boost their networks and strengthen their knowledge on the key topics of Africa.
During the opening ceremony, Hafsat Abiola, president of Women In Africa Initiative stated: “We must be prepared to do things differently (in Africa). This is time to go further and work together. We will enable Africa to stand.” She added that WIA Initiative is “the key” for African women entrepreneurs to benefit from investment funds.
Although the main topic of this event was the trust in women, the WIA Initiative plea (I’d rather use advocacy here) was divided in five major subjects:
- Obligatory school until 16 for girls
- The development of agri-finance
- The creation of a Business single window
- An intercontinental sponsorship
- The creation of women’s investment funds
This year, as part of the Programme 54, 55 innovative projects of African women entrepreneurs, all invited to Marrakech, were selected among 52 African countries. For a year, they will be coached and networked to develop their business. Eight of them received the “Revelation award” of the 2018 promotion for the relevance of their project, divided in 8 categories: education, health, energy, finance, social innovation, tech&digital, agriculture.
Alexandre Maymat, Head of the Africa, Mediterranean Basin & Overseas Region and Cathia Lawson Hall, Head of Coverage & Investment Banking Africa, awarded the prize for the Finance category to Favourite Driciru for its financial solution. This solution allows unemployed youth and women to benefit from microcredits.
The Women in Africa (WIA) Initiative Summit ended on Friday 28 September on a hopeful note. The investments opportunities on the continent are indeed promising. According to a study carried out by the Roland Berger office and unveiled during the Summit, one African woman out of two would consider starting a business over the next three years.
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