Mrs Ngone Diop, Sub-Regional Director, West Africa Office of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has said the purpose of the ongoing West Africa Business Forum is to support women and youth entrepreneurs grow and sustain their businesses.
She said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the forum in Lagos on Wednesday.
The forum titled “Empowering Women and Youths to Spur Africa’s Transformation Agenda” is the first in its series.
According to Diop, “The young entrepreneurs, like in IT, are doing very well but there are certain challenges, which I call potential opportunities, which are there but they need someone to really support them, giving them the information and the market, be it regional or continental for them to grow.
“They should be able to create wealth to contribute into the change process using the African Continental Free Trade Area as an anchor to doing business to grow, to transform, to develop the region and the continent.”
“I like to mention that this is not a forum per say; this is not a mainstream normal forum because before time, there were a lot of comprehensive activities.
“I referred to the pre-forum consultation for each sector identifying those key players and having interaction with them, I have mentioned the survey we have put in place and people have completed the survey, all of which gives us findings, plus the discussions and engagements we are having.
“It gives us what it takes to seek for purpose and inform the next step; how we can build the business linkages, what kind of platform we have. This is a high-level regional forum, paving the way for the transformation in West Africa.”
Diop expressed the gratitude of the commission to take the responsibility forward with a view to achieving results to the benefit of West Africa.
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