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Summit encourages African women to become entrepreneurs

Updated: 2016-10-28 16:35
By Ren Jie (chinadaily.com.cn)

Business representatives and scholars encouraged African women to start their own business and create more jobs for the continent.

Job creation and industries are the most important things to today's Africa, said Liu Qinghai, head of Center for African Economics Studies, Institute of African Studies of Zhejiang Normal University, during the Women in Tech Africa Summit in Yiwu, Zhejiang province, on Oct 27.

In addition to attracting foreign direct investment from other countries and regions, especially China, starting African people starting their own businesses is one of the most important ways for creating jobs in the continent, Liu said, adding that African women should contribute their own share.

Liu, also the managing editor of Annual Report on the Development of Africa, encouraged African women to improve their dynamic capabilities to fit a changing economic environment. "The world is changing rapidly, especially emerging economies such as African countries, so we must have the ability to respond to these changes very quickly," she added at the summit.

With their wisdom and hard work, African women have become more powerful in recent years. More are playing big roles in economy, technology and cultural development in Africa, and occupying senior positions in companies. African countries such as Botswana and Nigeria have seen more women taking up important roles in business, even though the number is relatively low compared with the Western countries, according to the 2016 Women in Business Survey by business advisers Grant Thornton.

Clas Neumann, head of Global SAP labs Network and Fast Growth Market Strategy Group, said at the summit that he believes African women will become the backbone in the prosperity and development of Africa, and African entrepreneurs will have huge business opportunities in the next 10 years, adding that SAP is willing to help with its R&D networks in the world.

The German management software provider is also paying more attention to women in its leadership. It plans to increase the number of female in its management to 25 percent by 2017.

The summit was co-organized by Women in Tech Africa, SAP and Center for African Economics Studies of Institute of African Studies of Zhejiang Normal University.


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