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Women Empowerment 2022 Report: Women have the potential to increase GDP in sub-Saharan Africa by 12%

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Women empowerment will achieve greater results when approached and communicated in the way an average African man, woman, and girl child will understand and relate with. Women globally convened yesterday virtually to share their views on the concept of women empowerment, especially within the African context, and to map out ways through which women empowerment can be communicated differently to ensure greater adoption by women, men, and girls in the African continent. This was during the launch ceremony of the Women Empowerment Report jointly prepared by Evolve Media Holdings Ltd and the African Institute for Research in Global Humanitarian issues and State Policy Assistance (AIRGLOBAL) Cameroon and Italy.

With a focus on reshaping the African perspective of women empowerment, the event brought together women from across the globe- with all continents represented. Women empowerment has since been perceived as a gateway to achieving gender equality at all levels even though the concept is perceived differently by varied schools of thought and scholars have over time proposed different models to facilitate the empowerment of women. A few years ago, the average African man translated the word women empowerment to mean teaching women to disrespect men/ their husbands. With time, this perception has gradually changed among the younger generation of men who are beginning to understand what women’s empowerment could really imply. However, there is still a greater percentage of men and even women who interchange women empowerment for feminism.

Africa cannot afford to overlook women’s contribution to sustainable development. In fact, according to McKinsey, narrowing the gender gap in sub-Saharan Africa has the opportunity to add 12%, or an estimated $300 billion, to annual GDP by 2025. In the same vein, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) reports that closing the gender gap in agriculture can increase yields by 20-30%, raise agricultural output by 2.5% to 4% and reduce the number of hungry people by 12%-17%.

Women empowerment will resonate more within the African context if the heavy jargon around it was dropped and empowerment simply defined as equipping women and girls with all they need- financially, morally, psychologically, physically, and otherwise to become support systems for themselves, for each other, for their families and spouses.”

This will engender an entire mindset shift that will enable gender-related policies to be easily implemented and equally facilitate the attainment of SDG goal 5 of achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls. Empowerment being a gateway to achieving gender equality, the young girl in Africa will feel comfortable around the word empowerment and embrace it without feeling that society will translate that to mean she is a feminist- a word which has equally been greatly misunderstood and is often used negatively to connote women who do not want to submit under the authority of a man.

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This does not in any way mean all previous efforts at empowering women and the girl child have failed, on the contrary, these efforts have contributed greatly towards building a new breed of women, especially in Africa who increasingly work towards the realization of their goals. We believe that this additional perspective could help to enhance the process and engender a new paradigm shift in the way women get involved in society, especially at the formal level.

The Women Empowerment Report looks at women’s empowerment from different standpoints, why it is important, how it can be measured and what can be done differently to obtain greater results. Women empowerment is evidently inevitable as we strive toward an inclusive society. It is no doubt that, in some parts of the continent, women still prefer to step down from leadership positions or not compete at all because of societal stereotypes. 

Getting these women to the point where they feel psychologically comfortable ascending positions of responsibility requires a lot of mentorships which in itself is a medium of empowerment. The good news is that we have many other women and men out there who will be willing to lend a helping hand and help empower a woman or young girl.

For us to bring men and even the young girl (who feels like being empowered will make her appear different), to that point where they feel comfortable around the word empowerment, we need to communicate this in a language they can understand. Not all parents are educated, yet they raise children and teach them what they are equipped with. These children just like those born in homes with educated parents will grow up to form part of our society. Chances are, they will miss out on what empowering the girl child truly means. Let’s bring the concept closer to them.

We cannot talk of inclusion when these are left out. Women empowerment should be able to reach the local population in the languages they understand. It equally has to reach them in a format that they can identify with. When people keep translating women empowerment to mean teaching women and girls to disrespect men, this will constitute a great setback. One way to achieve this will be to identify the concept in the local dialects.

Press Release

Dream VC Launches Its 2024 Venture Capital Fellowship Program

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Dream VC, Africa’s foremost venture capital institute and investor accelerator announces the commencement of applications for the 2024 cohorts of their flagship African-focused Venture Capital training programs. Founded in 2021, Dream VC has trained more than 170 African and Africa-focused investment professionals across 3x successive cohorts and 5x programs, many of whom are currently leading and operating in different investment roles across over 65x African investment firms.

The annual remote venture capital fellowship programs provide the ideal launchpad for all aspiring and current investors to break into the African venture space, with an extensive curriculum, practical training, and direct exposure to world-class investors provided to both junior and more venture enthusiasts.

Dream VC’s tailored educational investor training programs are dedicated to creating the necessary pipeline of talent, the next generation of African-focused investors. Investor Acceleratorand Launch into VC are Dream VC’s remotely delivered flagship venture capital fellowship programs, both run entirely virtually. The two concurrently running programs provide an ideal launchpad for all aspiring and current investors to learn, practice, and sharpen the skills needed to successfully find, invest in, and grow African technology businesses.

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“The Dream VC fellowship was a big part of my journey into Venture Capital, it allows you to work alongside enthusiastic venture capitalists in the African VC ecosystem, gain hands-on experience in due diligence and deal sourcing, and build a strong network in the industry,” said Cinderella Alinaitwe, now an Investment Analyst at Pearl Capital Partners, a Dream VC alumni (2021 cohort).

“Dream VC is what I wished I had access to when I started my VC journey. The barrier to entry is high for anyone looking to break into the African VC industry, and going through Dream VC equips individuals with the necessary skills set needed to land that entry-level role at an African VC firm. With more African funds springing up every year, there is a huge opportunity to fill positions and get the best talent. The current gaps in the market for talent are huge, and Dream VC is plugging into a critical pain point. With Dream VC, you are sure of the best talents to hire from.” echoes Dayo Koleowo, General Partner at Microtraction and a past speaker at Dream VC’s venture capital training programs.

This year, Dream VC is back in full force with an expanded team and a success rate evidenced by the many funds that count Dream VC alumni on their teams. In 2024, the investor accelerator will accept applications for their now-familiar venture capital training programs from today, the 27th of February 2024. The two programs running for this year are:

Dream VC’s focus on accessibility continues, and Dream VC is proud to share that they have once again secured a round of commitments from their partners and alumni to enable the Dream VC Access Foundation (Dream VC’s scholarship arm) to provide much-needed support and financial assistance to any aspiring investor-in-training, who makes it through the application process but cannot cover a portion of the program costs.

“Our commitment at Dream VC extends far beyond merely churning out a set number of investors within a specific timeframe. We’re dedicated teachers and builders, meticulously identifying and bridging gaps within the investor ecosystem across Africa. We firmly believe in the immense potential of African talent. Through our programs, we’re shaping future leaders poised to enter various roles within the venture capital landscape, from joining VCs and launching funds of their own to becoming angels, venture builders, and ecosystem enablers at ESOs,” remarked Mark Kleyner, Co-Founder of Dream VC, highlighting Dream VC’s pivotal role and continued success rate in nurturing and empowering investors, funds, and corporate entities to actively participate in Africa’s burgeoning startup scene.

Applications for the 2024 cohort for “Launch into VC (LIVC)’’ and “Investor Accelerator” programs open on Tuesday, February 27th, and will close at 23:59 GMT on the 14th of April 2024.

Both programs will run concurrently from summer to autumn. Launch into VC runs for 4 months from June to Late September. The Investor Accelerator program commences in June and runs until October for a total of 5 months.

Interested applicants can apply for the 2024 cohort of Dream VC’s programs here before 23:59 GMT on April 14th, 2024: https://forms.gle/DJuY7QHsMMYxBEBZ9

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Fawry partners LA Market to empower local brands in Egypt

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Fawry, the leading company in the field of banking technology and electronic payments signed a strategic cooperation agreement with “LA Market”, an exhibition and conference management company. As the first choice in the electronic payments market, “Fawry” seeks to support women empowerment initiatives within the region, which not only strengthens the business but also the landscape.

“Fawry”, a company specializing in financial technology solutions, aims through this partnership to bring mutual benefits to both parties and contribute to the overall development of the market within the framework of its commitment to the Egyptian market by contributing to spreading the culture of digital transformation and digitization and providing multiple electronic services to all the various sectors of the country.

Heba El-Awady, Chief Business Officer at Fawry, said: “The agreement highlights the bridging of international and local markets, demonstrating a commitment to creating a global impact while focusing on the specific needs of the Egyptian market.”

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El-Awady added: “The agreement has a positive impact on the local community by creating opportunities for businesses to thrive, thereby contributing to economic growth.”

On the other side, Lydiaa Akram, founder and CEO of LA Market, confirmed that the cooperation helps to promote women’s empowerment by incorporating specific initiatives or programs within the partnership.

Akram said: “We are proud to be the ideal partner for “Fawry”, the leading company in the field of banking technology and electronic payments”.

She added: “we hope to benefit from Fawry’s sizeable experience and unique resources in the Egyptian market, and to combine the strengths of both companies to serve our customers better.”

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Press Release

Amila Africa Launches Amila Insights

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Amila Africa Founder, Lethabo Sithole 

Amila Africa is thrilled to announce the launch of Amila Insights, a revolutionary division that is committed to providing advanced analytics, research and comprehensive solutions for businesses, governments, and international organisations looking to achieve success in African markets. The company offers a range of services, including syndicated market intelligence reports, customized research solutions, high-level market access events, content development, and value communication. 

As a budding pan-African and women-led advisory firm specialising in policy, enterprise and infrastructure development within the trade, investment and energy sectors, Amila Africa brings unparalleled expertise to the forefront with the launch of Amila Insights. 

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“With a focus on demystifying development trends and delivering data-driven analyses of opportunities across Africa, Amila Insights serves as the strategic partner organisations need to thrive in the region” said Lethabo Sithole, Managing Director of Amila Africa. “Our suite of services is meticulously designed to empower clients with the tools and knowledge necessary to drive growth and achieve sustainable success.” 

With a steadfast commitment to collaboration and partnership, Amila Insights collaborates closely with clients to develop tailored solutions aligned with their specific goals and priorities. “By leveraging its extensive network and deep understanding of local dynamics, Amila Insights assists clients in identifying new opportunities, enhancing competitiveness, and optimising business strategies,” said Noluthando Mthonti-Mlambo, Executive Director at Amila Insights. 

Amila Insights strives to be more than just a provider of information and data to clients. It aims to challenge the existing narratives on Africa, African businesses, countries, and multilateral organizations and become a trusted source of inspiration and change. 

For businesses, governments, and international organisations seeking to unlock the vast potential of African markets, Amila Insights represents a compelling opportunity to gain useful insights into the complex, evolving and growing African market. With a focus on excellence and a dedication to delivering tangible results, Amila Insights stands ready to be the trusted partner organisation to rely on to navigate the dynamic landscape of African business.

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