Championing economic opportunities for women in Africa

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Records and experiences have shown that empowerment is one of the smartest things a society can offer its women folk.

Not too long ago, women in Africa faced many barriers that set them back in lots of things. However, with more people lending their voices to the advancement of the rights of the female gender, improvements have set in.

Despite these improvements, there are still gaps to be filled in terms of creating more economic opportunities for women on the continent. Hence, this piece seeks to provide an insight into ways through which economic opportunities can be projected to the women folk in Africa for greater advancement.

Economic empowerment for women involves the ability of women to freely participate in existing markets, have access to productive resources, as well as engage in economic decision-making at all levels.

These among other things will advance society and open up more economic opportunities.

There are various means through which these economic empowerments can be achieved to give room for African women in places that matter and allow them to tap into greater opportunities.

Some of these includes the following:

Fair and inclusive policy for trade participation

It is not out of place to advocate for fair policies that will accommodate more women and allow them to benefit from government policies because participation in trade can be transformational when it comes to economic opportunities for women.

In doing this, policymakers need to reassess how new or existing policies affect women through relevant data gathering for analysis.

Getting this right will pave the way for well-targeted policies which take cognizance of gender in trade policies which will, in turn, allow women equal opportunities with men to access every opportunity and benefit inherent in such trade policies.

Access to finance and productive resources

One very essential requirement fundamental for anyone to maximise opportunities at his disposal is access to finance.

In Africa, access to finance is a major problem that cuts across both genders but with more effect on the women folk.

As such, financial services providers need to come up with schemes that enhance opportunities that can support women to generate more wealth and be financially independent.

For instance, such financial schemes can help address issues like where financial services institutions demand properties as collateral from women entrepreneurs, and in cases where they do not have and had to use third-party collateral to get such loans, they pay more for little to cover up for their inadequacies.

Apart from finance, there are other productive resources that can enhance the growth of women economically. Such resources include land and information.

In some African societies, access to land is limited to men due to laws, customs, and traditions which prohibit women from owning lands. This could serve as a deterrent to maximising economic opportunities for women especially those in agriculture whose major resource is the land. Therefore, African countries need to expunge such laws and come up with progressive laws which allow women to own lands as they desire for economic use.

In the area of information, addressing the lack of information about women’s productivity in the workplace and eliminating institutional biases against women will also open up more economic opportunities for women.

Education and taking advantage of new technologies.

Women’s economic empowerment is anchored on adequate education with education here not limited to only that gotten from the four walls of the classroom but extending to technological, vocational, and skills acquisition.

As the world is evolving, women need to take advantage of available opportunities in new technology to get more knowledge and equip themselves for economic prosperity.

We live in an era of technological advancement where innovations like computers, phones, and even social media have greatly impacted the way we live, work, and do things but technology has been underutilized in unlocking the economic potential of African women.

Based on that, it must be ensured that whether through mobile phone, internet use, or other Tech Business Opportunities, African women must explore ways to utilize technology to facilitate their empowerment and better their lives.

This is important as new technologies offer innovative skills that teach African women how to break the monopoly and access the possibilities in male-dominated industries giving women an edge.

African women especially those in rural areas need to also be taught about taking advantage of these new technologies to grow their businesses and expand their horizons.

In general, economic terms, data has shown that advancing women’s participation in the economy could add USD 12 trillion to the global GDP by 2025.

In this, African women must not be left behind, as such they must come together and work in unison to ensure the women folk are not neglected but rather empowered significantly to be major contributors to the economic recovery of Africa and the attainment of the Africa we want as laid out in Africa Agenda 2063.






































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