Sunday 2 July 2023


 The Nigeria Chapter of the African Women Network of AfCFTA (AWNA) was launched on the 26th of June at Labour (Pascal Bafyau) House, Abuja. AfCFTA is the African Continental Free Trade Area. I am a foundation member of the Nigeria Chapter of AWNA. The Convener of the meeting was Comrade Hauwa Mustapha (Vice President, AWNA @ the continental level).

Photo L-R: Chinwe Obiora, Precious Mbat, Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa, Angela Ajala, Hauwa Mustapha & Yetunde Balogun

The meeting was attended by:

*Hauwa Mustapha - Convener/VP AWNA @ the Continental level)

*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa - Independent Conflict Transformation Strategist/Gender Specialist

*Angela Ajala - National Coordinator, Association of Women in Business Network (ANWBN)

*Precious Mbat - Programme Officer, Organisation of Trade Unions of West Africa (OTUWA)

*Yetunde Balogun - Office Assistant, OTUWA

                                                                      Meeting in progress

The aim of the meeting was to rub minds on the strategy the Nigeria Chapter of AWNA should adopt in order to harness the benefits of AfCFTA accruable to women within the Nigerian space, while exhibiting the uniqueness of our country. Women who fall within the vulnerable margin have a right to tap into the benefits AfCFTA could engender via AWNA, and indeed the Nigeria Chapter.

We agreed to: 

*Identify the uniqueness of Nigeria within AWNA and AfCFTA.

*Map our partners, allies and enablers.

*Identify key stakeholders and collaborators.

*Identify the strategic areas of engagement for AWNA in Nigeria.

AWNA - Nigeria would concentrate on women/girls rather than the gender agenda. We shall vigorously source data without re-inventing the wheel. We shall leverage on extant data from various sources and also conduct our own independent research whenever necessary. The Mission and Vision of AWNA - Nigeria is in the oven, baking. We are also leveraging on the contents of the third National Action Plan (NAP) for Nigeria, which is a fall-out of the UNSCR 1325 Agenda which urges member states to develop NAPs in order to realise the goals of UNSCR 1325. The protection of women in peace/war times and indeed the well-being of women, which the NAPs seek are the bases of all that AfCFTA seeks to achieve. Without peace, there can be no development...An Advocacy Brochure for AWNA - Nigeria is in the making.

All this discussion and more took place within one hour! It appears AWNA - Nigeria has hit the ground running. If this tempo is maintained, Nigerian women of all classes are set for access to what AfCFTA has to offer them. Kudos to the Convener, Comrade Hauwa Mustapha and all those who were present at the inaugural meeting. We eagerly look forward to the deliverables...

                                                               Meeting still in progress

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