Hafsat Abiola, human rights activist and President of the Women in Africa Initiative (WIA) was welcomed as the guest of honor at Morgan Philips Middle East & Africa's Junior HR Club Breakfast, which recently took place at the Paris offices of global strategy firm, Roland Berger. During this event, discussions focused on the following topics: economic development and support for African women. See below our coverage of the subjects presented in partnership with Ms. Abiola.
As an international platform for high-potential and leading African women, the WIA Initiative is a year-long foundation to support African women through many activities, helping to strengthen them economically in different sectors such as entrepreneurship, agriculture or education.
Established in 2017, the WIA Initiative supports and contributes to the promotion of the emerging generation of young African women to create an inclusive and innovative Africa. To give meaning to its missions, the Foundation relies on several findings. Presently, the future of the continent is seen as one of the biggest global issues of the century. In Africa, some women are already playing major roles in the economic transformation of the continent, but despite their will and tenacity, many have difficulty accessing education, funding and positions of responsibility. As a result, this inevitably hampers the development of new economic models that are essential for African states to be able to integrate themselves into globalized countries.
In order to truly carry out its missions, the WIA Initiative has identified three key issues to empower female entrepreneurs. Fronting the list of issues is education as a major prerequisite for empowerment, followed by the development of support structures for entrepreneurs and the development of banking and telecommunications infrastructures.
Indeed, it’s essential that education systems be improved to enable all girls and women to access education. The strengthening of professional structures must also be initiated by governments to launch new economic and industrial policies to support entrepreneurs. Finally, the establishment of adequate infrastructures would facilitate the development of entrepreneurial projects, meeting the needs of entrepreneurs over the long term.
In Africa, women make up half of the population and produce 62% of economic goods alone. However, only 8.5% are paid. Conversely, 27% of African women are starting businesses, which is the highest rate globally according to the GEM Women Entrepreneurship 2017 Report, paving the way for Africa to become in just a few years, the leading continent for women's entrepreneurship.
For more information about the WIA Initiative, visit the Foundation's official website: https://wia-initiative.com