The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has collaborated with the Kingdom of Netherlands to empower women across member states to help them contribute their quota to the economies of their respective countries.
Speaking at a meeting in the ECOWAS Office in Abuja, yesterday, the Minister of Foreign Trade and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Netherlands, Sigrid Kaag, said they are ready to support ECOWAS by empowering women in capacity building, financial inclusion and access to funding.
She said, her team and ECOWAS shared lots of idea on issues relating to women, children and youth adding that their long-standing relationship would help them to provide technical support and funding for women in building their capacity.
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“We share very much concern on issues of focusing on prevention for investment, creation of jobs for young people with particular regard to women and young girls. Be it in trading, education and access to finance or land.
“So, the broad range of the issues cut across youth agenda and is critical to all the member States of ECOWAS. We commend ECOWAS for the leadership they display time and time again on early warning mediation and helping member states to channel best practice mediation strategies,” she said.
Kag added that Netherlands is number two in the world when it comes to agri-business and innovation.
“So, we apply technology and we also look at quality of value chain and a lot of the opportunities and the scope of sphere inclusive trade which is linked to the SDGs. So politically and practically, it makes socio-economic sense to team up and render our support for ECOWAS where they have identified it and where we can be of use.”
“In the region of trade, we have a number of expertise in trading nations. We are country number 17 in the world in size of economy; number two when it comes to innovation; and number two in the world in terms of agric-business and we are agro-food chain.
“So, we make technical assistance available thereby urging ECOWAS to follow up with the ambassador on how to come in. The technical assistance is to provide technical assistance, some funding and to help countries develop the best adaptation mitigation system themselves,” she said.
The Vice President, ECOWAS, Mrs Finda Koroma, who said a lot to move the region forward have been discussed at the meeting, added that the issue of promoting women empowerment is taking centre stage in their agenda.
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