The African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) is a U.S. Department of State initiative that was launched in 2010 alongside the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) ministerial forum in Zambia. AWEP builds networks among women entrepreneurs across sub-Saharan Africa poised to transform their societies by owning and operating small and medium businesses and by becoming voices for social progress in their communities.
August 10-11, AWEP’s Ethiopia Chapter will host a forum prior to the 2013 AGOA Forum’s ministerial program held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. One hundred AWEP women entrepreneurs from across the continent will participate in the forum, themed “Queen of Sheba: The Entrepreneur.” U.S. Congressional delegates, private sector practitioners and senior U.S. and African officials will also participate.
This year’s forum will focus on best practices for trading under AGOA, access to finance for women, business development, regional initiatives empowering women entrepreneurs, and use of social media to build a successful business.
The First Lady of Ethiopia H.E. Roman Tesfaye, U.S. member of Congress Karen Bass, and African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry Fatima Acyl will open this year’s AWEP Forum, and U.S. Department of State Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Cynthia Akuetteh and AWEP-Ethiopia President Samrawit Moges will close the forum.
On the evening of August 11, AWEP will participate with the Corporate Council on Africa’s U.S.-Africa Business Center and the Intel Corporation to host a Business-to-Business (B2B) Networking Event. This event provides an opportunity for AWEP entrepreneurs to network with U.S. companies and investors from various sectors such as manufacturing, services, technology, and fashion and textiles to build upon the connections the women made during their AWEP exchange to the United States. More than 100 AWEP women entrepreneurs, 30 U.S. companies, and U.S. Congressional delegates have been invited to attend.