By Alfred Koroma
The Ecobank Foundation and UN Women’s Regional Office for West and Central Africa have yesterday 8 November, signed a partnership agreement to strengthen their respective agendas for promoting women’s empowerment in Africa.
This is the first time the two key actors in the development of the continent have established a framework for cooperation to achieve their common goals and accelerate the empowerment of women in Africa, a press statement from Ecobank reads.
“Women have always had a central role in the Foundation’s activities and initiatives. Through our partnerships, we have been able to promote, among other things, women’s leadership, and girls’ education. With UN Women, we want to go further. We are thrilled to have such a partner, which expertise and experience will help us ensure that a gender equality lens is applied in all our actions,” says Elisa Desbordes-Cissé, COO of the Ecobank Foundation.
Ecobank Foundation often organizes an event for its employees dubbed as the “Ecobank Day.” The annual event which is scheduled for 12 November, will focus on financial literacy and inclusion as a key factor in reducing poverty and promoting shared prosperity for women and youth in marginalized communities, with the theme “Leave no one behind: Financial Inclusion for all!”.
Through this partnership with UN Women, particular attention will be paid to the specific needs and challenges faced by women and women entrepreneurs in both rural and urban areas, Ecobank says.
According to the press release, the Bank will jointly carry out series of awareness with the ‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign,’ an annual international event that also begins on 25 November together with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women which will continue until 10 December, Human Rights Day.
The Bank stated that it partnership with UN Women will put a specific focus on the sports sector and the opportunities that exist for women along the value chain, both in terms of personal and professional empowerment.
“We are excited about this partnership with Ecobank in many ways. Through this collaboration, we will be able to work together to promote gender equality in Africa and empower many more women by increasing their levels of financial literacy and inclusion. And given our shared interest in sports, we will together more effectively combat gender stereotypes by promoting more equal participation of women and girls in the sports industry in Africa,” Regional Director a.i., Deputy Regional Director, UN Women West and Central Africa Regional Office, Florence Raes said.