By: Akin Akinremi
Keystone Bank held the reins of the Women Empowerment segment of the recently concluded International OkpeKpe Road Race.
The Okpekpe Road Race – an annual 10 kilometre marathon organised by Pamodzi Sports marketing Nigeria Ltd in partnership with the Edo State Government – is recognised by the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) and attracts competitors from all over Africa.
The Acting Managing Director of Keystone Bank, Mr Hafiz Bakare stated that Keystone Bank is committed to supporting initiatives that empower women and youths explaining that this is in line with the pillars of the Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
He added that women are the bedrock of social and moral values and as such support for programmes like this is not only significant but essential.
As part of the Women Empowerment Programme sponsored by Keystone Bank, 10 indigenous women were trained and provided with start-up kits in various vocational skills.
Speaking at the event, the Group Head, Oil & Gas (Corporate Banking) at Keystone Bank, Mrs Nnenna Kayode-Lawal said, “Beyond being one of our CSR pillars, the focus on supporting women in the society stems from the fact that women remain the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world. According to a study by the Clinton Foundation, 41% of Nigerian women are entrepreneurs compared to only approximately 10% in the US and 5.7% in the UK. While according to Global Entrepreneurship Monitoring’s annual report, women actually outnumber men in the entrepreneur space in countries like Ghana, Nigeria and Zambia.
“Many of these women include small scale operators in the rural areas who; if provided with the right kind of support, can have significant effects on the economy.”
Backed with this report, Keystone Bank is charged to explore all strategies to make significant impact in this terrain.