THE NIGERIAN ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS (NAWE)
The significant role that Women play in African’s economic development began to get attention in the early I970s. An African Training and Research Centre for Women was established in the Office of the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for African (UNECA) as the regional focal point for Women in Development in I975. This Coincided with the United Nation’s Declaration of I 975-1985 as the Decade for women. The Declaration directed member Nations to pursue vigorously the integration of Women in all facets of human endeavour. Just before the Close of the decade a meeting was held at Arusha, Tanzania under the auspices of the OAU. The Arusha meeting examined issues pertaining to Women advancement beyond the decade. In I 995, a 3rd World Conference for Women was held in Nairobi Kenya. At that advancement of Women were adopted by United Nation’s Member Nations. On the Africa Continent, this was followed by another Conference in Abuja in I989 under the auspices of Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). The Outcome of the meeting tagged “Abuja Declaration on Participatory Development of Women” was adopted by member African States. The Declaration adviced that Women be integrated and be allowed to participate in Development Programmes.
In response to above recommendation, the Economic Commission for Africa ECA Conference of Ministers on Women adopted Resolution 736 (xxvii) passed to it by the Africa Regional Coordinating committee. In adopting the resolution which is “Women and their access to resources in the I990 the ECA Conference of Ministers requested UNECA to facilitate the creation of a Federation of African’s Women Entrepreneur The African ‘Training and Research Centre for Women, which is in the office of the Executive Secretary of the UNECA put in place the machine, for formation of the Federation of African Women Entrepreneurs (FAWE) which is to enhance the promotion of the economic activities of Women from that of mere income generation to the formal economic sector where Women will make substantial contribution to National taxes and offer employment and other support services. This way the full potentials and energies of Africa Women can be harnessed and challenged towards National Development for their various Countries through Trade. Commerce and Manufacturing.
Io facilitate the formation of the Federation of Africa Women Entrepreneurs member nations of the Organization of Africa Unity (OAU) were directed to form strong National Associations of Women Entrepreneurs. This was to channel entrepreneurial activities of Women and strive to transform it from the informal to the formal sector of the Nation’s economy. The National Association of Member States will now come together to form a federation of African Women Entrepreneurs.
Nigeria, through the National Commission for Women which is the Government’s organ responsible for the Integration Women into National Development activities, had the responsibility, of forming the Nigeria Association of Women Entrepreneurs. The National Commission for Women wasted no time and their effort saw the inauguration of the Nigerian Association of Women Entrepreneurs (NAWE) on the 29th April, 1993).
On 3rd June, I993, the Nigeria Association of Women Entrepreneurs (NAWE) participated in the inaugural meeting of the Africa Federation of Women Entrepreneurs (AFWE) where Nigeria was elected the President for a two year renewable term.
All Countries of the world came together to form the International Federation of Women Entrepreneurs with Indonesia as the first President.
To work as a team towards a shared objective to reach a greater number of women through the programs of NAWE.
To develop a suitable membership program that will improve member base and encourage members to be more active, Policy advocacy with the strong and unified voice of Nigerian women Entrepreneurs that will influence policy makers.
To provide need-based quality programs to its members and clients.
The Nigerian Association of Women Entrepreneurs (NAWE) is an Economic, Government initiated Organization with the following goals:
1. To serve as a Centre for Nigerian Women Entrepreneurs for the promotion of their interest, thereby empowering them to join the economic mainstream.
2. To serve as a forum where Nigerian Women Entrepreneurs exchange ideas, discuss their problems, design and form strategies regarding their business.
3. To initiate, encourage and promote training for the members to enable the development of individual talent which will also contribute to the overall economic development of the country.
4. To assist Nigerian rural women Entrepreneurs to organise themselves and improve their working methods.
5. To organise and participate in Local and International Trade Fairs to promote an export oriented economy.
6. To co-ordinate their activities with Government initiatives on resources creation and capital formation.
7. To develop successful models of entrepreneurship for emulation in the sub Region, Continent and Worldwide.
In view of the foregoing goals, the function of the Nigeria Association of Women Entrepreneurs will among other be:
i. Drawing of long term plans for the Women Entrepreneurs.
ii. Protection of the impact of Women’s Entrepreneurial activities on development.
iii. Creation of an enabling environment for exchange of ideas on issues of common interest.
iv. Up-grading skills and mobilization of resources
v. Motivation of potential female Entrepreneurs, Source funds for members to set up small and medium sized enterprise.