The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and the Women Arise Development Humanitarian Initiative (WADHI) are partnering to establish a digital incubation centre to build capacity of women.
In his speech at the grounding breaking ceremony of the initiative today (July 27) at the grounds of the chamber in Abuja, the ACCI second deputy president, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, said supporting women empowerment was one of the priorities of the chamber.
Adesugba, who is also the managing director, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), said the chamber would always pay serious attention to gender issue.
“We need to support women in whatever they are doing and no matter our social belief, the difference is clear whenever the women are in charge.
“We could see from when women took over the management of ACCI, things began to work and are still working. We can also say that whatever you are seeing here today is a combination of ideas from the women we have here,” he said.
He congratulated the management of WADHI for all the initiatives in supporting the women and for raising the centre for the women, adding ACCI looked forward to seeing more initiatives coming out from there.
In her remarks, the ACCI director-general, Victoria Akai, said the chamber’s partnership with WADHI was a collaboration to establish a digital incubation centre to support capacity development of women and also to promote women’s financial literacy.
She said the partnership was also about looking at how to link women to international market especially in the context of Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), adding “before we talk of diversifying, we have to look beyond our borders.
“The best way to expand trade is to build the capacity of women. Women understand the etiquettes of business better and that makes them the bedrock of the economy.”
According to her, Abuja is seen as a non-commercial city but the people that can truly make it a commercial city are women because they are the ones seen everywhere selling one thing or the other.
“The importance of women going into business is not only for economic gain but to also inculcate entrepreneurial skill into their children. One very important thing is to support our women and also help them build same into their children,” she said.
She lauded ACCI members and the executive committee for their support for the women, saying “the men have never said no to any initiative that will benefit women but are always there to give their full support.”
Earlier, the WADHI convener, Mrs. Esther Mshelia, said the incubation centre was the womb that would birth great things for the women, pointing out that “what we have come to witness today is the handing over of the site physically after all the necessary documentations had been done.
“The building is for a modular business incubation centre that is being built out of containers and it is to show that they can recycle things. There will be digital training and financial management services for women and also a trading platform,” she added.