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By Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS)

ABUJA, Nigeria, March 20, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The ECOWAS Federation of Business Women and Entrepreneurs (ECOWAS-FEBWE) has launched its Nigeria Chapter with its President, Mrs. Iyalode Alaba Lawson, pledging the Chapter's commitment to promote and facilitate trade for groups and individual women entrepreneurs in the region.

Speaking at the launch and the 2nd meeting of the Chapter's Bureau in Lagos 27th and 28th February 2012 respectively, she affirmed that FEBWE-NIGERIA would put in place a common platform for the achievement of the Federation's objectives.

FEBWE-Nigeria, the President said, would among other functions, organize sustainable development projects in small-scale enterprises, training on skills acquisition, as well as identification of talents/skills and cottage industries using local raw materials.

There will also be emphasis on packaging, agro-allied projects, food and energy security through renewable energy, marketing of semi-processed products for exports and gender equality.

The President of ECOWAS-FEBWE, Mrs. Candide Leguede, said the Federation seeks to empower business women and entrepreneurs with focus on managerial capacity building, to make them more competitive and visible in the business world.

The bureau meeting discussed business expansion, constraints and solutions, and how to maximize business opportunities through networking.

It also examined the 2011 Work Programme of the regional body and considered actions to ensure efficiency in 2012. To this end, the bureau decided to prepare and submit as soon as possible, a comprehensive work plan to ECOWAS for collaboration.

Nigeria's Minister of Water Resources and her counterpart of the Federal Capital Territory were represented at the launch.

Also in attendance were Mr. Goodie Ibru, Director-General, Nigerian Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Oba Fadikpe-Olota Kurunmi of Cotonou, Benin Republic and Mrs. Emiobo Ibru of the ECOWAS Commission's Private Sector Directorate.

FEBWE-Nigeria is the sixth Chapter to be officially launched after those of Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Niger and Togo.

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