By Grace Orok Follow @grace_orok
Female entrepreneurs in Cross River may soon become multimillionaires if the position of the national vice president of the African Women Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP), Reverend Ruth Praise that it will create an international market for them is anything to go by.
“Incentives will be provided for products from Cross River State to be exported without paying import duties under the platform of The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA),” said Mrs. Praise Wednesday in Calabar at an event to inaugurate and mobilize members for AWEP.
Other benefits would be expanding their networks and empowering them to be “the voice of change for social advocacy in their communities,” Mrs. Praise said.
“We believe in 2018 and beyond, Cross River State will benefit in the new model for engagement through increased competitiveness, value addition, and deeper regional integration, especially now that AGOA is about to be reviewed to build greater shared economic prosperity in diverse industries such as: manufacturing, tourism, and agriculture, to see how African workers, farms and companies will benefit from the opportunities provided by AGOA,” she added.
AWEP is an outreach, education and engagement initiative that targets African women entrepreneurs to promote business growth, increase trade both regionally and to United States markets through AGOA.
And, the wife of Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River, Dr. Linda Ayade who was presented a certificate as a matron of the organization, said that she was passionate about the economic emancipation of women.
She was represented by the Commissioner for Women Affairs in the state, Mrs. Stella Inyang.
She averred that she will, through the collaboration of the Cross River Women Emancipation Initiative (CROWEI) which she founded, with AWEP, make sure women in the statw are emancipated from the shackles of poverty to a better life.
However, she noted that female entrepreneurs in Cross River are faced with problem of who buys the products and advocated for the right market for them to showcase their products.
“Of a truth our women are going to become millionaires in no distant time. I enjoin you women to make use of this window of opportunities to start up something with your hands in order to make out a living for yourself,” she said.
Female entrepreneurs exhibited their wares with some awarded for their sterling performances.