The African Business Roundtable's strategy for the future (Pt III) – Gender balance at the Table
It has been popularly believed that the world of business is a world of men. In the past women played a supporting role in business affairs, while young people and women taking meaningful business strides were almost non-existent. In a way, it was considered inappropriate for women, married or otherwise, to engage in business activities.
Today’s worldview however, has shifted to placing women and youth at the forefront of business activities rather than having them operate from the side-lines. More and more women are becoming dominant stakeholders in Africa’s business scene and the African Business Roundtable is committed to adding worth and value to its members even as it craves their contributions toward making a meaningful impact on the continent.
ABR 30th Anniversary Commemorative Book: “We intend to be the bridge between generations of women making their presence known in the world of business and establish a link where women can be groomed to take leadership positions, ﬁnd their voice and build confidence in their several niches.”
When one takes a closer look, it becomes clear that African businesswomen and entrepreneurs have always played at the forefront of entrepreneurship in Africa. Regrettably their contributions have largely been diminished by stereotypes and inaccurate narratives.
Women have participated actively in the ABR in the past. The new strategies being executed by the organization will call for increased, active participation and inclusion of female members of the ABR. Many powerful women abound in the African private sector business space nowadays. Some of them – Madam Touré Diabaté Massogbè, Amina Gerba, Mrs Eniola Fadayomi, Dr Stella Okoli, Catherine Koﬁ, and Evelyn Karungari Mungai – are already ﬁrmly established members of the ABR.
Mr. Samuel Dossou-Aworet, President & Chairman of the Board, African Business Roundtable: “In our strategy to build a more visible and relevant roundtable, we aim to embrace all our members, irrespective of age and gender and harness what they can bring to the table for their optimum advantage. In building a more inclusive roundtable, we give way to an organisation that has a wealth of value to offer to one another, our business, nation, continent and the world."
Working from the past into the future, the African Business Roundtable is fine-tuning its strategy to tap into the enormous potential of women holding leadership positions. The ABR was never a camp of men alone and its successes are as a direct result of the synergy between great men and women in business.
“With their considerable inﬂuence and force of presence, we intend to include more women in ABR activities. We want to create a space where women can get the mentorship, encouragement, partnerships and opportunities they so thoroughly deserve to empower their businesses and ultimately the private sector of Africa,” concludes Mr. Dossou-Aworet.
About the African Business Roundtable
The African Development Bank Group set up the African Business Roundtable in 1990. Today the ABR is Africa’s foremost and continent-wide association of businesses and business leaders, and is the representative of the African Business Society to the United Nations. An independent, non-partisan, non-profit private sector funded organization, The African Business Roundtable is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) and is the only organization representing the African Private Sector within ECOSOC.