The Nigeria chapter of the non-⅘profit New Faces, New Voices (NFNV Nigeria) has called for more inclusion of women in the financial sector, particularly in the various interventions by governments and the private sector aimed at economic recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
This call was made by Hajiya Aishatu Debola Aminu, Country Director of NFNV Nigeria, while speaking at the recently held second series of the Women Leadership and Financial Inclusion (WLFI) workshop aimed at enhancing financial inclusion of women owners of Nano Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (NMSME) in Ikeja, Lagos.
NFNV is a pan-African women in finance network under the Graça Machel Trust (GMT), focused on stimulating changes in the financial sector so as to empower African women to contribute to an essential shift in the business and financial landscape across the continent.
Hajiya Aminu said the workshop would equip the women entrepreneurs with the necessary knowledge, skills and strategies to develop resilience against global economic downturns and the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic so as to scale up their businesses towards productivity and profitability.
“We are focused on enhancing women’s capacity through various empowerment strategies which is crucial for their sustainable development,” she said.
In her remarks, Director of Programs at the Graca Machel Trust (GMT), Ms Shipra Chisha, said the current socio-economic realities means leaders at all levels should be able to come up with the right policies and interventions that would effectively address inequalities and gender-based discrimination, particularly with regards to women’s access to finance, emphasising the importance of women’s participation in decision-making.
“Access to finance for women entrepreneurs in West Africa seems to be improving but there is still a need for more improvement. Women are grappling with low-level income, lack of access to loans, as well as lack of financial education. Consequently, this workshop will create awareness and build the participants’ capacity for access to finance, financial products and services and build their as well as to enhance their ability to take on leadership positions moving forward,” Chisha said.