Synergy is key to breaking barriers, African women economic summit reveals

One of the e-posters by Twani Foundation to introduce the speakers ahead of the event. E-POSTER/Twani Foundation.
One of the e-posters by Twani Foundation to introduce the speakers ahead of the event. E-POSTER/Twani Foundation.
  • The summit aimed to enlighten women entrepreneurs on the need to unite to break barriers.
  • The speakers noted that there is space for everyone; women’s empowerment does not mean men’s disempowerment.
  • They urged women not to think they are competing against one another but move together upwards.
  • Women hold a significant portion of Africa’s economic stake.

When women come together, they can forge lasting connections and friendships that can go a long way into changing their lives

Winifred Orji, Coordinator, African NGO.

According to UN Women, women’s economic empowerment is paramount if the world is to achieve the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. 

“When more women work, economies grow. Women’s economic empowerment boosts productivity, increases economic diversification and income equality in addition to other positive development outcomes,” says the UN Women website. 

Culminating the ‘Women’s Month’

To culminate the month that saw the celebration of women across the globe, Twani Foundation held a virtual women’s economic empowerment summit on March 30, 2023.

It brought together some of the most influential women in Nigeria and beyond. 

The event, themed Breaking Barriers, was organized by Angel Twani, the Founder of Twani Foundation, an NGO committed to peace advocacy and empowering youth and women.

Speaking during the event, the speakers in one voice advised women to work together in building each other if they want to break the existing barriers and scale great heights in the world. 

Pooling resources

During the summit, Winifred Orji, the Coordinator at African NGO (ANGO), urged women to come together, pool their expertise and knowledge and share their challenges with other women.

“When women come together, they can forge lasting connections and friendships that can go a long way into changing their lives,” she said.

She noted that synergy among African women could create a healthy environment to inspire fellow women and make a difference in the world.

Ms. Orji urged women running NGOs to create more opportunities for other women locally and globally. 

“They should also synergize and collaborate to give women more opportunities and platforms for women to share their experiences.” She said.  

More Opportunities in Leadership

Angel Twani, the Founder of the Twani Foundation and convenor of the event, called on women to work together in creating leadership opportunities for each other. 

Angel Twani, Founder, Twani Foundation. PHOTO/Courtesy.
Angel Twani, Founder, Twani Foundation. PHOTO/Courtesy.

She condemned the notion maligning Africa that man is the born leader, saying that she feels that women should be given more leadership opportunities in leadership roles, particularly in the government.

“We have seen a lot of beautiful African women striving and doing great things. We have like Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the former Liberian president Ellen Sirleaf. So if we are given more opportunities, we can play our role in the nation’s building,” she said. 

Investing in each other

OJ Posharella, the CEO of the Posharella Group of Companies, said that the only way for women to thrive is for them to pull each other up rather than suppress each other. 

She urged all women to treat each other with love regardless of their backgrounds and experience with each other.

In empowering each other, Posharella said that women should give freely without expectation and should always network to connect. 

Whatever resources in their spheres, be it their voice, power, or opportunities, they need to share with their fellow women. 

This will “…form an assembly of women who are ready to go forward and invest in each other,” she asserted.

OJ Posharella, CEO, Posharella Group of Companies. PHOTO/Courtesy.

She also discouraged women from trying to bring men down in their pursuit for empowerment, saying, “The empowerment of women does not mean the disempowerment of men. There is enough space for both genders to thrive.”

Ms. Posharella, who also stars in The Real Housewives of Abuja, condemned the idea that women are in a competition against each other. Such a mindset, she said, breeds envy and limits the ability of women to help each other. 

She narrated that her experience as a cast in the much-acclaimed show did not allow her to express her personality and fulfill the spirit of sisterhood “…since there was a lot of envy, backlash and competition”.

The experience, she said, gave her the choice of either seeing women celebrate one another or tear each other apart. 

She took the high road and reminded her fellow cast that they were in the show to showcase their success and inspire other women.

She encouraged women to broaden their influence beyond their country’s borders by borrowing from her experience in Thailand, where she spent months traveling to twenty-one provinces, teaching women entrepreneurial skills. 

Enhancing success in the digital age

Prekeria Mawere, the Founder of Charity For Love Foundation, Zambia, described the digital age as the best tool to unite women in the continent and globally. 

She believes that the progressive digital steps that the world has taken today help women beat their barriers and go global. 

According to Mrs. Mawere, social media gives access to new marketplaces, information and reach both locally and globally. 

“If you are a woman and you know how to use social media, you can do a lot of things and you can be very successful,” she said. 

She further stated that women need to tap into the available digital trends, saying that no woman should be held back from trying to achieve her desires.

She explained that there are times when, in trying to get help for her non-profit charity organization, her reliance on social media has proven very helpful. 

With digital tools at her disposal, she can meet people from all over the world. 

Mrs. Mawere recounts that in her experience looking for partnerships for her charity organization, she encounters many challenges, such as sexual harassment from men. 

Some of the men she meets in corporate offices request sexual favors before they extend their support to her organization. 

She says that the digital tools available help her avoid such confrontations. With digital platforms, she believes that women can avoid sexual harassment issues and interact with genuine people globally.

Mrs. Mawere believes that the digital age has created many entrepreneurial opportunities for women across the globe as more women are making technological innovations and leaving a mark on the planet. 

She encouraged the world today to allow women to take full credit for their digital innovations, which will also encourage more women into STEM.

Sealing the gender gap

Mrs. Mawere argued that in a world with an enormous gender gap in the economic field, the digital tools available are making great strides in leveling the ground and giving women opportunities to thrive. 

She reiterated that digital tools offer women the means to beat the barriers they face both physically and economically. 

Mrs. Mawere believes that if women in various African countries can connect and work together, they can scale greater heights in politics, economics and the development of their countries. 

She pointed out that although men and women were created equal, cultural and customary practices have created barriers that hinder women from thriving. 

Prekeria Mawere, Founder, Charity For Love Foundation (Zambia). PHOTO/Courtesy.

To this, she challenged women to think of solutions for not just themselves but also to help other women in the world thrive.

Emotional and social support

Mrs. Mawere narrates that in her country, she has met several women who have been victims of gender-based violence. Such women do not have people to confide in, and in some cases, they are too vulnerable to walk out of their abusive marriages.

“They don’t have education, they don’t have a job, they don’t know what they can do,” she revealed.

She said that the mental health issues facing women today could be salvaged if women were there for each other to support those needing a listening ear.

Some of the women in leadership are not trickling down the benefits of leadership to those who need it. 

She urged women to restrain from being enemies of themselves and instead ask, “How best can we empower each other to thrive?” 

She believes that by loving each other, women can form cross-border collaborations and entrepreneurial steps. 

YOU CAN ALSO READ: Women in trade: Solving intra-African entrepreneurship puzzle

The event was a session of enlightenment for the many African women who need empowerment, assurance, and support to thrive in their spheres of influence, profession, and interest. 

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Ms Ogutu is a Multimedia journalist with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies. Her major interests lie in education, environment and climate change reporting. Email address:


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