Africa Trade and Investment Global Summit (ATIGS) has announced its collaboration with Global Sustainable Partnerships to spearhead the inaugural Women’s Program Engagement Council (WPEC).

WPEC is a global initiative designed to help African women entrepreneurs expand into new markets and promote and facilitate international trade between Africa and the rest of the world.

ATIGS, a biennial business conference and exhibition designed specifically to promote and facilitate international trade and foreign direct investment in Africa, will be held in Dubai during the World Expo 2020.

WPEC is tasked with creating ATIGS’s platform to celebrate, support and empower female entrepreneurs, with a focus on Africa and the host country UAE, engage people globally and encourage them to pledge their support for women-owned businesses during the summit and beyond.

According to Harvard Business Review women represent the largest market opportunity and control $20-trillion in annual spending.

“When we invest in women, their communities, states and countries prosper,” says Kimberly Fogg, chair of the WPEC. “It creates a ripple effect and sets a positive example that will inspire and impact the next generation of girls and boys.

“I want WPEC to lead the trade and investment industries in its efforts to gain strategic knowledge about local to global investment opportunities and offer international exposure to ensure female voices within these industries are represented, recognised and financed.

“We are at a pivotal time in history to help raise awareness of the importance of investing in female leaders in the business community,” she adds. “I am proud to be part of the change that we are championing for women globally, especially African women who are transforming a Continent from within.”

Bako Ambianda, chairman of ATIGS Group, adds: “Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rate of female entrepreneurship globally.

“At ATIGS, we are advocating for increased investment in women-led businesses to strengthen their contribution to the economic development of their communities and help lift the continent out of poverty.

“There is an immense opportunity for economic growth and social impact by investing in African women, so we need to make women a critical component of Africa transformation. We are proud that ATIGS has collaborated with Global Sustainable Partnerships for the inaugural Women’s Program Engagement Council (WPEC).”

WPEC encourages key female representatives of major Fortune 500 companies, African leaders, company founders, philanthropist, key policy makers and business leaders to speak, moderate, participate and attend the Summit to share their journeys through the private and public sector spaces describing not only their successes, but also identifying policy gaps, challenges, obstacles and suggested solutions for future best practices.