Irene Ochem, founder and CEO of AWIEF, was one of the speakers on the panel event ‘Africa’s Next Billion Dollar Business’ hosted by CNN at the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) in Durban. One day later, she also spoke at another IATF stage about the opportunities and challenges facing women entrepreneurs.
During the panel discussion on Tuesday 16 November, moderated by CNN’s Anchor and Correspondent Eleni Giokos, the panel speakers shared insights on African entrepreneurship ecosystem and business. Apart from Irene Ochem, the panel consisted of giants of African and Middle East regional development finance institutions: Admassu Tadesse, Chief Executive Officer, Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB);
Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, Chief Executive Officer, International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (Member of Islamic Development Bank Group); and Angelle Kwemo, Executive Vice President, Morgenthau Stirling & Founder, Believe in Africa, USA.
The following day Irene also entered the IATF stage, together with Trudi Hartzenberg – Executive Director of the Trade Law Centre – to discuss the issues facing women-led businesses and start-ups. This session identified key opportunities and challenges facing women entrepreneurs and how they can best leverage on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to drive and benefit from increased intra-African trade.