The 2014 conference was opened by Elisha Attai, CEO and Founder of AWLO. In his welcome speech, Mr. Attai reminded delegates and participants that the driving force of AWLO is to create an enabling environment wherein African women are exposed to the premier opportunity of meeting, interfacing, sharing experiences and ideas, developing business, networking, and exploring vast opportunities for partnering and expanding the frontiers of their vision and aspirations.
The keynote speaker, Almas Jiwani, UN Women President, Canada reminded the women that despite the progress that has already been made for the protection of women’s rights, local and international barriers still exist, hindering women’s ability to “grow in all spheres”. These barriers include fear, finances, discrimination, lack of confidence, and education. She entreated the women to continue to pursue gender equality since “equality for women means progress for all”. She emphasized the role of ‘one’ in instigating and maintaining momentum in this area