Access Bank has partnered the Africa-America Women’s Economic Forum (AAWEF) to empower and promote women interest.
Access Bank’s commitment to advancing women’s empowerment is evident through the W Initiative meant to ensure that women get the best from banking.
The bank has long recognised the economic power of encouraging and supporting women as well as female entrepreneurs and in the year, they became the lead collaborator with AAWEF to ensure a full representation of African culture at the 33rd ZORA! Festival of Arts and Humanities.
AAWEF is positioned to boost the participation of women as key contributors to Africa’s growth and development in science, technology and innovation, with an objective to build sustainable relationships between Africa and America through networking, education, trade and commerce for women entrepreneurs. This they have done for three years during the ZORA! Festival of Arts with a conference tagged the “AAWEF trade expo”.
Speaking at the third AAWEF trade expo themed “Nurturing international commerce through education and culture”, Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe said: “We reckon that this would foster trade relations between Africa and America leading to access to global markets by women entrepreneurs with an emphasis in STEM, manufacturing and agriculture. It would also provide a space for African and African-American women to collaborate and innovate for advancement of entrepreneurial initiatives that positively impact their communities and nations.”
Chairman, Access Bank Plc, Ajoritsedere Awosika, added: “As our women brace to the challenges of expanding their competencies, I am positive that as a Bank, we will continue to make our own contributions to ensure that our focus on women which aligns with the UN objectives are achieved in record time. We will continue to say No to all forms of gender discrimination, ‘No to violence against women’, ‘No to harmful practices against women and children’ and ‘Yes to all forms of women empowerment programmes.’’
Being the only African financial institution to partner with AAWEF, Access Bank’s W Initiative was given the opportunity to select vendors from Africa who would display their Afrocentric products to an international audience at the outdoor festival of the Arts. This opportunity was presented at no cost to the vendors.
Chizoma Okoli while addressing the issues around accessing finance and resources for women in Africa at the conference said “Access to finance for women in Africa is very critical for us at Access Bank. Women are generally relegated to being home makers in the society and require a higher level of assistance given the challenges that they face. Women believe they can’t do as much as a man can, however with the right support system which the bank provides, there is no limit to what they can do.”
This partnership will further reiterate Access Bank’s commitment to empowering female entrepreneurs across Africa by opening opportunities for international trade and commerce between Africa and