• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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NEPC, ITC empower 4,000 women entrepreneurs for global success

NEPC moves to relaunch Nigeria as net exporter of palm oil

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) are partnering to empower over 4,000 women entrepreneurs, propelling them towards global market success.

The empowerment is enable them focus on enhancing business capacities and export readiness, marking a significant milestone in fostering women-led businesses in Nigeria.

Nonye Ayeni executive director/chief executive officer (ED/CEO) Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) stated this during the readiness workshop for women – led businesses in Nigeria themed, “Positioning Women-led Businesses for African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) success” which held at the NEPC conference hall on in Abuja.

Read also: Nigeria’s economic survival depends on non-oil sector – NEPC

According to Ayeni, NEPC being the host institution for the SheTrades Nigeria Hub programme, is committed to increasing the participation of women in non-oil export business inline with the efforts of the International Trade Centre (ITC) in providing capacity building and market access opportunities for women-led businesses in Nigeria.

She said over 4,000 women-led businesses are currently connected to the Initiative and they have participated in webinars, market access programmes and in-person training programmes designed to meet specific sectoral needs.

Ayeni noted further that the International Trade Centre (ITC) is also working with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to implement a programme called Empowering Women and Boosting Livelihoods through Agricultural Trade (EWAT): Leveraging the African Continental Free Trade Area.

‘’The EWAT programme aims to support formal and informal women producers, processors, agripreneurs, traders, women’s cooperatives and associations to take advantage of opportunities created by the AfCFTA in agriculture and agro-processing value chains.””

She explained further that the programme was organized in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC), under the framework of the SheTrades Commonwealth project.
‘’SheTrades is an initiative that was launched by the International Trade Centre (ITC) in 2015, to remove barriers to women’s participation in trade by working with governments and private sector organizations to build the business capacities of women and create a fairer, more sustainable global ecosystem.’’ she said

Ayeni said that the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) started a partnership with the International Trade Centre (ITC) in 2016 to implement SheTrades Initiative in Nigeria, with the objective of connecting Nigerian women entrepreneurs to global markets and workshop provides a platform for participants to engage in a policy dialogue, which aims to enhance the capacity of women-led businesses to take advantage of opportunities created by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Read also: NEPC sensitises newly registered exporters in Aba

‘“At the workshop Participants would also be trained by ITC experts to evaluate their export readiness and competitiveness, create and execute strategic plans for accessing regional and international markets, conduct market research and identify export opportunities, develop their negotiation and communication skills that can be effectively applied in real business scenarios.’’, NEPC said.
She reiterated that the training is strategically designed to equip women entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills required to access new markets and build sustainable export businesses that can compete anywhere in the world.

Participants at the workshop also highlighted some challenges they are faced with which includes, the need for a processing center and facilities where producers can take their produce to process and package, with the machines as interventions from the government, policy issues, finance, access to genuine buyers and a proper feedback mechanism.