By Cecilia Ologunagba
New York, Sept. 17, 2022
Mrs. Esther Eghobamien-Mshelia, a Nigerian representative on the UN Committee on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), has proposed digital marketing to assist women sell their products.
Eghobamien-Mshelia said this while speaking in New York on “Promoting Inclusion and Innovations through Gender Response” at a symposium, organised as part of the 2022 USAfrica Expo.”
The UN correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the High-Level Symposium was organsied on the margins of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.
The gender expert said digital marketing was a gateway to help women, adding that she has been doing that by creating an App to help train women to market their products.
“We need commerce facilities so that women could produce quality products that will be imported to other countries,” she said
Eghobamien-Mshelia also spoke about the discrimination women faced at work, saying that some women experience violence and harassment in their workplaces.
“One of the issues is to promote women in workplaces, there is no level playing field between women and men if it comes to accessing business resources.
“Women’s constraints are different from men as far as access to market is concerned and women account for 60 per cent of population in workspace, but their output is not reflecting in Gross Domestic Products (GDP),” she said.
Speaking to NAN on the sidelines of the event, Mr. Gbenga Omotayo, Executive Director, USAfrica BusinessExpo, said the Expo, was aimed at targeting investors, distributors, entrepreneurs, businesses, political and diplomatic leaders for business opportunities at the ongoing UNGA.
According to him, USAfrica Trade and Business Network, Inc, a U.S.-based non-profit organisation, has been connecting organisations, and businesses with new buyers, supplier, and investment opportunities between the U.S. and Africa.
He said: ‘Our target audience is drawn from across the public and private sectors in trade, investment, automobile innovation, and oil and gas; Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with agricultural products for export or who export their locally manufactured products hugely from the expo.
“The event brings together representatives of government, UN agencies and development partners, and encourage the exchange of views, sharing of experiences.
”There is also settling of common goals and targets in line with 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly those related to health, trade and partnerships.’’
He said the organisation had been promoting and strengthening trade and investment between the USA and Africa In line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
“This event is a direct response to the UN’s call, “Urgent action is needed to mobilise, redirect and unlock the transformative power of trillions of dollars of private resources to deliver on sustainable development objectives
“Long-term investments, including foreign direct investment, are needed in critical sectors, especially in developing countries”.
“Our event enhances trade agreements and policies between Africa and the United States, encouraging an increase in participation towards the fulfillment of the SDGs in 2030 and AU agenda 2063 goals,’’ the official said.
In addition, he said, focus of the organisation was to help African MSMEs to find U.S markets for their export-ready products while expanding their distribution networks.
“To do this efficiently, we create room for bilateral conversations between people from customs and select compliance officers from different countries.
“Our exhibitors’ products undergo compliance and standardisation checks to ensure they meet all the requirements needed to sell in retail stores and e-commerce sites in the U.S., facilitating investment opportunities for American and African businesses,’’ the official said.
Through such events, he said, participants had gained fundamental knowledge and know-how on U.S-Africa export by hearing C-level executives and government officials talk about Prosper Africa initiative, African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
Similar, they were always told what they needed to know to take advantage of these available opportunities efficiently.
Quoting CNN reports, he said that the diaspora was the secret weapon of Africa.
“We strive to bring their wealth, expertise, and resources to Africans doing business in the motherland for Africa’s growth.
“You know Africans outside Africa want to give back but do not know how to do this.
”This event gives them insight as to how they can do this through connections made with people who attend from Africa,’’ the official said.
NAN reports that the event was organised in collaboration with NYC Office of the Mayor, Women Arise Development and Humanitarian Initiative (WADHI), Renew Our Earth, Pacetas marketing Agency, Kind Capital Resources (KCR), Strategic Women and Youth Institute, Redberyl Consulting, Susa Tours LTD., Abuja.
Other partners were Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Sustainable Development Goals, Human Energy Development Innovations (HEDi), EXIM (Export-Import) Bank of the United States, Global Chamber, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.