I had the honour of being invited by the Vice-President of the Republic of Colombia to the commemoration of the International Day of Afro-Descendant Women in Bogota. The Commemoration was an event co-organized by the Vice-President’s office and the Bogota Chamber of Commerce (BCC).
I was invited as the Vice-Chair, Africa of the World Chamber Federation (WCF) at the ICC to speak on the Economic Leadership Panel.
This event was held on the 25th of July and Afro-Descendant Women leaders and influencers from different walks of life in South America, the Caribbean, Africa, America, and Europe, were invited to speak on different panels. The panels covered Political leadership, Culture, Women empowerment, and Economic Leadership. All of which are critical matters when seeking the advancement of any group of people. The Vice-President herself is the first Afro-Descendant woman to become the Vice-President in Colombia. She sought to create a platform where Afro-Descendant women can develop an international agenda for signifying the lives of our women and creating opportunities in political, economic. social, and cultural spaces.
The conference exposed the gaps in trade and commercial relations amongst peoples of Afro-Descent. It is important to state that at the heart of advancing women of Afro-Descent, there must be an agenda for economic development and empowerment. The role that Chambers of Commerce play in the development of trade relations between businesses of all sizes and sectors with their counterparts across the world is critical. More needs to be done about organizing our business women of Afro-Descent for export and international trade. There is more work for the Chambers of Commerce to do in this regard in Colombia.
My visit ended on the third day with a power lunch organized by the BCC. 20 female Chief Executive Officers of various organizations were invited including a Nobel Laureate and a Global Leader. It was a great time of sharing and learning about our board room and corporate challenges. As I left for my home country Nigeria, I took with me the wonderful memories of the sights, sounds, music, food, culture, and warmth of those whom I had met. I am also left with the firm conviction that economic empowerment is an important driver for the advancement of Afro-Descendant Women across the world.1