Lafarge Africa Empowers 60 Women Entrepreneurs with 22 million Naira Seed Grants Across 13 Host Communities in Cross River State


Cross River State, Nigeria, Monday, July 01, 2024. Recognizing the immense potential of women in driving economic growth, Leading Innovative and sustainable building solutions company, Lafarge Africa has initiated the "Empowering Women in Business" program, which supports 60 women-led businesses across its thirteen host communities with 22 million naira in seed grants. These communities span Akpabuyo, Akampa, Calabar Municipalities and Ndupani Local government areas in Cross River State. 

In his remarks at the event, Milad Hanan, Plant Manager, Lafarge Africa's Mfamosing plant, highlighted the company's commitment to gender equality and the vital role of women in the business sector. "I am very proud of the women in our community who are taking the lead to drive businesses. They are playing a significant role and have the potential to make a big impact not only in Calabar but across Nigeria," he stated. 

In the same vein, Bassey Inyang, the Communications and Public Affairs Manager, East, Lafarge Africa, explained that the that the program is part of the company's sustainability initiatives aimed at women development, noting that the selected women are being equipped with necessary business management skills. “We have provided financial literacy training and practical business management tools to those who are already in business, creating scenario-based learning experiences.”

Also speaking at the event, Mrs. Edema Irom, Commissioner for Women Affairs, Cross River State commended Lafarge Africa for recognizing women as key actors in the business sector. “Lafarge Africa has deemed it fit to empower women this time, rather than men or youth. Empowering women in business is one of the best things that can happen for women globally.”

Similarly, Mrs. Ada Charles, Special Adviser to the Governor on Community Relations, encouraged the beneficiaries to use the resources wisely to grow their businesses while commending Lafarge for the initiative. "When you empower a woman, you empower a community and a nation. I am very grateful for what Lafarge has done today," she said.

Community leaders also expressed their gratitude. The Clan Head of Kasuk Qua Clan, Ntiyo Patrick Agbo, said, "I want to thank God for this day and extend my gratitude to Lafarge. They have done so much for us before now—empowering us through academics, scholarships, water supply, and skills acquisition centers, all of which are functioning well in my community."

Also, Mr. Lawrence Bassey, Chairman, Community Relations Committee (CRC) further emphasized the importance of responsible use of the grants. “Today we gather here thanks to Lafarge to empower you. I implore you to use the cash grants responsibly and not for any activities that could bring trouble or attract negative attention to us or the CRC representatives who recommended you.”

Beneficiaries of the program expressed their appreciation and commitment to using the grants effectively. Glory Edet thanked Lafarge Africa for establishing their businesses, while Idara David acknowledged the valuable training provided. Mmayen shared, "This program has been immensely beneficial to my business. I am confident it will help me improve my business position."