AWIEF Gathering to Boost Development of Women-Led Businesses and Spur Africa’s Inclusive Economic Growth

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The Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF), a Pan-African non-profit organisation with offices in both Nigeria and South Africa has announced plans to continue its mandate in boosting the development of women-led businesses in a bid to spur Africa’s inclusive economic growth.

The Forum, which will celebrate its 5th year anniversary in 2019, has announced the dates for its prestigious annual conference and awards, which will take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) on the 29th and the 30th of October, 2019.

The conference’s theme this year is, ‘Enhancing Impact: Digitalisation, Investment and Intra-African Trade’. The two-day event aims to promote and accelerate the growth of women-owned and women-led businesses for Africa’s inclusive economic growth.

AWIEF is a platform that sees global thought leaders, industry experts, policymakers, academics, development organisations and investors gather to dialogue, connect, network, share, collaborate and transact in a combined effort to boost Africa’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.

“The digital economy is driving business and is enhancing the impact of our work. Investment in women-owned businesses is needed across the continent of Africa,” said Irene Ochem, Founder and CEO of AWIEF.

Discussions at the Forum will be focused around how to leverage the digital economy; how to provide more access to affordable investment and finance to women to drive women entrepreneurship; and analysing the importance and role that women have to play in the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

“It is important for Africa to trade amongst itself, to collaborate and cooperate. What we need to look at is the critical roles that women have in this integration process,” Ochem explained.

AWIEF runs several programmes for women across the continent, such as the flagship AWIEF Growth Accelerator Programme for getting businesses investment ready; the FemBioBiz Accelerator Programme in partnership with HIVOS and NEPAD-SANBio, which builds and supports the growth of women-owned and led businesses in the health and agricultural biotech field and other biosciences, with impact on health, nutrition and food security.

AWIEF support comes from global organisations such as UN Women, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Union-funded Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA).

Partners and sponsors also include Shell, Nedbank, the City of Cape Town; Bank of Industry, Nigeria; GE; AGRA; Embassy of Sweden in Nigeria and South Africa; Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa; consumer goods manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson; financial services firm, Old Mutual; and leading entertainment company, Tsogo Sun.

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