Nigeria: Women – in the Race for Economic Dominance
The contribution of women to economies and how countries can create a more enabling environment for women entrepreneurs and leaders in the economic sector and beyond was the highlight of a summit organised by the Nigerian Quintessential women Business Association last week.
African women represent a huge untapped market as emerging business leaders, consumers and household decision makers.
Women control or strongly influence many household spending decisions and their power as consumers drive demand for products and services and become even more magnified as Africa becomes more prosperous. Nigeria is making inroads in supporting and reinforcing the importance of women in leadership positions in the economic sphere.
Presently, the number of female appointees in the cabinet represents about 31 per cent of the 42-member cabinet. Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was appointed as Finance Minister and five Nigerian banks have female CEOs. women entrepreneurs are already making a strong contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth throughout the continent. Although many of these businesses are small and their owners operate mainly in the informal sector and are described as “necessity” or “opportunity” entrepreneurs, more and more growth-oriented businesses led by women are emerging.
In order to empower the Nigerian woman and shore up her financial capabilities, the Nigerian Quintessential women Business Association (NQWBA) was set up by Mrs Shimite Katung, to drive this purpose.According to her, women are rising with a new thinking of dominating the international market; thus the organisation aims to promote women’s business interests.
Consequently, the association held its first Nigerian Women’s Business Summit, last week, with the theme:”Preparing Nigerian Women for the Global Market.” At the event, which drew over 700 participants from across the country, the guest speaker, the former minister of Information and Orientation,Prof Jerry Gana, tasked businesswomen to brace up to the challenge and take charge of the European market.
He said Europe was only about six hours away and as such, it was easy for Nigeria’s businesswomen to export their goods and services for foreign currencies.According to him, there were so many developed nations waiting for Nigerian produce which the women could help to harness, especially foods and products that are grown all year round.