Nigeria’s First Lady, Aisha Buhari has disclosed that the Federal Government is committed to women’s economic development as exemplified by the various economic interventions introduced since the advent of this administration.
Mrs Buhari disclosed this during the opening of the African Regional Council of Women Conference in Abuja on Tuesday, organized by the National Council for Women Societies, NCWS, and the development Research and Projects Centre, dRPC, in Abuja.
Represented by the Minister for Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, Aisha Buhari challenged state government in the 36 states of the federation to pull resources to empower women as a strategic and deliberate economic policy that aims to redirect, reengineer, and reinvigorate the economic status of women with a view of tackle poverty, unemployment and insecurity in Nigeria.
She sighted several federal government interventions that is geared towards inclusion and expanding access to finance for women in business, adding that more interventions are underway to integrate women as a veritable segment of Nigeria’s quest for economic growth.
Attended by over 2,000 women from Women Cooperatives and Associations from Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa region, the conference with the theme ‘New awakening for African women’ is a 3-day conference that has participants from all the 774 local government and some African countries.
Earlier in her welcome address, the President of the NCWS, Dr Laraba Shoda, described women economic empowerment as the most workable economic intervention any government can use for economic sustainability, family cohesion, and peace.
“This conference is brought together to give opportunities to women across the 774 local government not only to showcase their economic viability but to network and form sustainable business relations for the betterment of womenfolk’ she said.
Mrs Shoda who thanked the First Lady for her continuous support of women’s emancipation, added that the African council conference will continue to be an opportunity for all women in Africa to develop. She then thanked all the participants for making time to attend the conference.
She used the conference to announce her emergence as the President of the African Council of Women Societies.
The National Administrator, Partnership for Advancing Women Economic Development, Unekwu Ezekeil said the dRPC is supporting the new awakening for the African woman in Nigeria through the PAWED project.
“PAWED project brings together Nigerian women cooperatives, livelihood associations, and women in business groups to support them to advocate for economic inclusion and participation at the national and subnational levels,” she said.
Panelists at the conference described the funding, leadership, and poor education as the bane of women’s economic development and called on the governments at all levels to introduce policies that is inclusive to emancipate women as the main intervention needed to put Nigeria on the right track.
Several papers presented at the occasion to promote women’s economic development and to draw the attention of national and sub-national governments to invest in women economic development as the best way to integrate, promote and ensure inclusive development in Nigeria.
The highlight of the conference was the exhibition organized by various women business to highlight their entrepreneurial abilities.