As part of its program to promote green entrepreneurship, the West African Observatory for Sustainable Development (OOADD) launched in February 2018, an online mapping of green entrepreneurs in Togo. The results of this mapping showed a relatively low representation of women in the sector. However, it is clear that the sector is full of important opportunities that remain unexploited to date. Faced with this situation, it is urgent to bring to young women’s knowledge, these opportunities to arouse in them the desire to invest. In this context, OOADD in collaboration with WASCAL Program on Climate Change and Human Security in Togo and the organizations working on gender and development issues, namely Youth Impact for Sustainable Development (YISD) and the International Association Young Women Leaders (AIJFL) organized a Young Women’s Academy on Green Entrepreneurship. This academy which will take place over the period from June to September 2018 is themed “Empowerment of young women through green entrepreneurship“. It will equip 200 women on green entrepreneurship and is organized as a prelude to the celebration of the first edition of the National Green Entrepreneurship Week in Togo. The activity is part of the implementation of Goals 5, 8, 10, 13 and 15 of sustainable development. Thus the first session of the academy was organized on Thursday, June 28, 2018 at the headquarters of WASCAL at the University of Lomé (UL).
It was marked by the words of welcome by Professor Kouami KOKOU, Director of WASCAL, the words of circumstance of Mr. Tata Y. ATTI, President of Youth Impact for Sustainable Development and the opening speech of Mr. Mandela DJAHO, President of the West African Observatory of Sustainable Development.
In his intervention, Professor KOKOU welcomed the organizers and participants at the WASCAL premises hosting the event. He congratulated the initiative and encouraged the organizers in their actions in favor of the environment through green entrepreneurship. He reiterated the availability of WASCAL to support such initiatives.
In his speech, Mr. Tata ATTI clarified the essential place that young women must play in the fight against climate change and located the event in an international context related to the adoption of the SDGs.
Mr. DJAHO Mandela, for his part, thanked Professor KOKOU for accepting hosting the event on his premises. He outlined OOADD’s actions in promoting green entrepreneurship in Togo and invited participants to pay particular attention to various communications.
After the opening ceremony, the moderator of the workshop, Mrs. Alice GOZA, President of the International Association of Women and Young Leaders (AIFJL) invited the participants to take a family photo and then the communications began.
The first communication focused on climate change and opportunities for green entrepreneurship. It was made by Mr. M’koumfida BAGBOHOUNA, a WASCAL Alumnus. In his presentation, he defined climate change and identified its causes, manifestations, consequences and solutions to the phenomenon. He concluded his presentation by sharing the opportunities for green entrepreneurship with the participants.
The second communication was made by Mr. Biao AFFO, Secretary General of the West African Observatory of Sustainable Development and focused on green entrepreneurship and opportunities related to Togo. In his delivery, he returned to the context of green entrepreneurship and its importance in the fight against global warming. He gave some examples of green enterprises in Togo and some women entrepreneurs from other countries.
Ms. TOUTOU’s third communication from the FAIEJ (Support Fund for Youth Economic Initiatives) focused on the project funding mechanism by this institution. She defined the FAIEJ and gave her attributions. She has specified the areas of intervention as well as the various services offered by the fund. She also clarified the intervention strategies as well as the partners of the FAIEJ. She finished her presentation by zooming in on some green projects that benefited from the support of FAIEJ.
Alice GOZA then presented her communication on women’s leadership and green entrepreneurship. In her communication, she clarified the qualities of a female leader and motivated the participants to more dynamism in society. She gave examples of some women leaders by making a link on what characterizes them all. She went back to the need for women to assert themselves in society and to claim their place in the development process of their country.
The last communication was made by Mr. ATTI who made the link between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and green entrepreneurship. In his presentation, he set the context for the adoption of the SDGs and focused on targets related to green entrepreneurship.
- Discussion Panel
At the end of the presentations, a panel of all presenters was formed. The participants had the opportunity to ask questions of deepening to better master the concept of green entrepreneurship but also several questions about the funding mechanism of FAIEJ. The young ladies were invited to visit the FAIEJ to register. They were also invited to do a lot of research in order to better understand the concept of green entrepreneurship in order to identify ideas in the sector.
At the end of the discussions, Mr. Mandela DJAHO thanked the organizers and the participants for this first session. He said that additional training will be done to better equip participants in the creation and management of their green businesses.