UN, Nigeria strikes partnership to promote Women Entrepreneurs’ inclusiveness

Minister of Women Affairs, Nigeria, Paullen Tallen

The Federal Government of Nigeria has partnered with the UN to begin a project that would increase the visibility of women.

The project’s main goal is to promote gender-responsive procurement practices, which are a proven way to help female entrepreneurs gain economic empowerment.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Paullen Tallen, stated during the project’s launch with the theme: “Women’s Empowerment through Affirmative Procurement Reform in Nigeria” that the project would promote gender equality, women’s empowerment, inclusive economic growth, and national development through improved access to public procurement opportunities for women entrepreneurs.

Tallen, representing the Director in charge of the Permanent Secretary’s office, Idris Mohammed noted the difficulties that had prevented women business owners from taking advantage of procurement opportunities, such as the lack of information regarding the preparation of bids.

Tallen noted that other issues in the three-year project, which used Kaduna and Lagos as pilot states, included a lack of technical expertise to carry out contracts, a lack of networks and informational resources to respond to requests for bids, and protracted payment delays from public procurement agencies.

“Investing in capacity strengthening for women entrepreneurs to benefit from public procurement alone, would not guarantee their economic empowerment.

“The launch of this project resonates with our advocacy on advancing economic empowerment for women entrepreneurs through enhanced access to public and private procurement opportunities.

“We must first address existing structural barriers that women entrepreneurs face and accelerate action to promote gender-responsiveness across procurement processes, practices and institutions, so that change can happen within a reasonable time frame,” she said.

The UN Women Country Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms. Beatrice Eyong, said the project would assist in empowering women and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“The project launch focuses on inculcating gender responsive procurement processes, as a panacea for advancing economic empowerment to women entrepreneurs,” she said.

She continued by saying that the project promotes institutional improvement and reform to increase the access of women-owned enterprises to public contracts and the creation of procurement initiatives that take gender equality into account.

The African Development Bank, UN Women, and the Women’s Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative all supported the project (We-Fi).


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