YTF at Africa Women Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum

September 8, 2015 – The Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF) will participate in the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum’s (AWIEF) event, themed Investing in Women Entrepreneurs: Unleashing Africa’s Economic Growth, September 8 and 9 in Lagos, Nigeria. The conference will assemble successful entrepreneurs and business leaders from diverse African countries and beyond for a discussion on the role of women in Africa’s growth and development. Focus areas include: education, access to finance, financial inclusion, information and communication technologies (ICTs), business skills, training and economic opportunities.

YTF founder and President Njideka Harry will moderate a panel titled, “Unlocking Potential for Women Empowerment and Entrepreneurship: The Role of Training and Technology.” Harry will be joined by panelists including Fatoumata Ba, CEO of Jumia and Raphael Afaedo, co-founder and CEO, Supermart Nigeria. In this panel, Harry will introduce YTF’s work and talk about the opportunity technology provides women to enter the electronic value chain. According to Euromonitor, “Nigeria has the fastest growing e-commerce market on the African continent, with the retail sub-sector expected to grow from $104 million in 2014 to $1 billion in 2019, despite economic slowdown.” YTF sees e-commerce as an untapped market for women entrepreneurs in particular.

Njideka Harry (center) with Fatoumata Ba, CEO of Jumia (left) and Mopelola Balogun (right), MTN Nigeria

Njideka Harry (center) with Fatoumata Ba, CEO of Jumia (left) and Mopelola Balogun (right), MTN Nigeria

As technology continues to define the 21st century workplace, participants will explore and evaluate ways to boost women entrepreneurship, including business skills training and development, mobile technology and access to finance and mentoring, among others. 

Harry is also a keynote speaker for a panel titled, “Financial Inclusion a Critical Factor for Fostering Sustainable Growth & Development.” 

YTF’s President sharing our work with financial inclusion and technology serving women entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

YTF’s President sharing our work with financial inclusion and technology serving women entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

“Entrepreneurship is the life line of a healthy economy,” said Harry. “By creating an ecosystem to support more female owned businesses, these entrepreneurs can play a significant role by creating their own wealth and jobs. As YTF continues to support and train women in entrepreneurship endeavors, I am thrilled to participate in such an important event. I’m looking forward to learning from my fellow event participants and taking some lessons learned back to our work.”

Njideka Harry (second from right) with AWIEF conference presenters

Njideka Harry (second from right) with AWIEF conference presenters

Findings from the 2015 Female Entrepreneurship Index demonstrate that Africa continues to fall behind when it comes to fostering women entrepreneurs. According to the index, Africa ranked the lowest as compared to the rest of the world. YTF knows that women’s labor force participation is a key source of long term economic growth. Female education can lead not only to increased revenues and job creation, but to healthier and better educated families – ultimately creating more prosperous communities and nations. By helping transform the lives of promising women entrepreneurs, we in turn transform the lives of those around them. 

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ABOUT AFRICA WOMEN INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP FORUM (AWIEF)

The Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) is a premier, pan-African conference and exhibition event that will bring together an exclusive group of thought leaders, women entrepreneurs and women in business, investors, MSMEs, international development organizations, NGOs, CSOs, trade missions, foundations, governments and policy makers, the private sector and media. It provides a platform that will showcase deliberations around the role that African women play in shaping the continent’s economic future, the challenges and constraints they face, and to proffer solutions.

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