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Forum explores efforts of women in business

20 May 2013, 14:42 Emeka Adebanji

Nairobi - The upcoming Supporting Public Advocacy for Regional Competitiveness (SPARC) Programme will highlight the advocacy efforts of women in business for increased economic empowerment across four African countries

About 100 participants from Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, and host Nigeria, will participate at the one-day forum scheduled for Lagos on Thursday, 23rd May.

The Vital Voices Global Partnership and Women in Management, Business, and Public Service (WIMBIZ) will host the event.

International high level keynote and panel speakers as well as high profile guests from across the continent will attend the forum.

These include Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Victoria Sekitoleko, former Minister of Agriculture of Uganda and Founder of Uganda Culture Community Centre, Adedotun Sulaiman, a renowned Management and Strategy Consultant, Jane Kiragu, Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, Alyse Nelson, Co-Founder & President of Vital Voices Global Partnership and Kah Walla, CEO and Founder of STRATEGIES! from Cameroon.

Celena Green, Senior Program Manager of Africa of Vital Voices Global Partnership, based in Washington DC in the United States, said this year’s SPARC Forum in Lagos will discuss the importance of female leadership in Africa’s economic growth and the advocacy efforts that business organisations are undertaking to promote greater investment in women, and improvements in the business environment that will provide equal opportunities for the economic participation of women.

“Research has shown that gender equality is not only the right thing to do, but also good for business. Companies and governments that diversify their procurement see improved savings and efficiencies by opening the process to new players.

"Companies that have greater diversity in management and leadership also see greater returns, allowing them to be more prosperous, create jobs, and contribute to development and poverty alleviation.

"That is why women and men in the SPARC program are advocating for equality of opportunity,” Green said.

Vital Voices Global Partnership is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that identifies and invests in female leaders around the world working to advance human rights, political participation, and economic empowerment.

The Supporting Public Advocacy for Regional Competitiveness (SPARC) Program was launched in 2012 with the objective of fostering increased engagement of African women in the labour force and in entrepreneurship as well as creating a more welcoming environment for economic empowerment and poverty alleviation.

- CAJ News



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