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  • Business - Economy
  • Updated: September 24, 2021

Africa’s Transformation Agenda: Empowering Women, Youths Is Vital - UNECA

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Lawrence Agbo
Lawrence Agbo

Lawrence is a vibrant journalist that loves creating SEO-focused content that drives businesses. ...

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The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has said that empowering women and youths were vital to value creation, transformation and promotion of economic growth in Africa.

Sub-Regional Director, West Africa Office, UNECA, Ngone Diop, stated this in Lagos in her presentation at the ongoing West Africa Business Forum under the theme: “Empowering women and youths to spur Africa’s transformation agenda.”

Diop spoke on the topic: “Setting the context: why empowering women and the youth matters to Africa’s structural transformation agenda.”

Diop stressed that enabling African women and youths would advance their prospects for all and build more resilient economies, to improve the quality of life for their entire populations.

She added that an enhanced focus on women and youths would be a win-win strategy for the West African sub-region as it would generate competitive real returns for all over the long term.

Diop noted that female entrepreneurs’ contribution to Africa’s economic growth was about 13 percent of the continent’s Gross Domestic Product.

“Female entrepreneurs make significant contributions to economic growth and to poverty reduction in Africa, with contributions of between $250 billion dollars to $300 billion dollars,” she said.

The UNECA sub-regional director urged African leaders to ensure training and access to digital technology for women and youths.

“Support job creation; support women and youths’ leadership; and women and youth entrepreneurs social networks,"

“Create opportunities in technology, innovation, the private sector, and ensure economic empowerment through education, training and peer-to-peer learning,"

“Also, financial empowerment through improved and inclusive financial and microfinance policies and accelerate the financial inclusion of women by promoting the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union Agenda 2063,"

“Advancing women’s and youth’s potentials boost prospects for all to improve the quality of life for their entire populations,” she said.

She further added UN estimates which had shown that the opportunities, through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), would result in total welfare gains of $16 billion to $24 billion dollars in productive jobs for women and youth.

“Significant gains in all major sectors (agriculture and food, industry, energy, and mining), which could increase in value by 15  to 25 percent, based on ECA 2017 estimates,"

“The national strategies for AfCFTA implementation will provide an appropriate framework for each country to mainstream women and youth into these strategies and ensure that they are able to leverage the transformative potential of trade expansion under the AfCFTA”, Diop added.

READ ALSO: FG To Promote Digital Economy, Sustainable Inclusive Development — Minister

She further noted that it was imperative to create business linkages and an environment supportive of growth and sustainability of the youths and women’s businesses like the ease of access to information, capital and markets.

There should be more adequate skills essential for the youth and women to add value to West Africa’s enormous resources endowments, she added.

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Lawrence Agbo
Lawrence Agbo

Lawrence is a vibrant journalist that loves creating SEO-focused content that drives businesses. ...

More From this Author

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