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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Video Remarks for AWEP Nigeria Chapter Launch

Washington, DC
May 7, 2013


Hello and greetings from Washington, DC.  I am Cynthia Akuetteh, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the African Affairs Bureau, and I'm sorry I'm not there with you today in Abuja, but on behalf of the Africa Bureau here at the State Department, please accept our warmest wishes for a successful launch of the AWEP Nigeria chapter.

AWEP is the Department’s signature women’s economic and civic engagement program that has built a network of approximately 122 women entrepreneurs in 48 sub-Saharan African countries to transform societies through business development and become voices of social advocacy in their communities.  We are very proud of this program and the privilege to partner with dynamic African businesswomen.

Today, Nigeria joins the ranks of a growing AWEP footprint on the continent, joining its regional sister chapters in Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, and Niger—and this effort is in no small part due to the visionary leadership of AWEP 2010 alumnae, like Yemisi Iranyole, a prominent businesswoman in her own right.

AWEP Nigeria, with Ms. Iranyole as its president, has created a leadership structure that will successfully harness the power of women entrepreneurs in each of Nigeria’s regions. AWEP Nigeria is well positioned to create opportunities and build better business environments for Nigerian women entrepreneurs. 

Already, AWEP Nigeria has developed strong partnerships with USAID and U.S. firms like Intel to successfully organize mentoring opportunities and business and skills development workshops for Nigerian women entrepreneurs throughout the country. 

AWEP chapters are formed to give women a platform to bolster their trade capacity both regionally and to the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act.  We have no doubt that AWEP Nigeria will excel in this endeavor.

The United States Government could not be happier to call ourselves partners with the Nigerian women of AWEP and we appreciate your time and dedication to building a chapter.  Congratulations on your journey to establish an AWEP chapter and we celebrate with you today as you launch!  Thank You.

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