Women Entrepreneurs Call for Financial Empowerment from EAC States

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Women entrepreneurs in East African region have called upon partner states to come up with specific financial instruments tailored towards empowering women economically.

This call was made in Kigali by women entrepreneurs from Rwanda and Kenya during the opening of a three-day Kenya-Rwanda Business Trade Mission.

In her remarks at the forum, Mary Muthoni, the Chairperson of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry said, governments in the region need to understand the general challenges entrepreneurs face in making trade work especially for women entrepreneurs.

“When we thought of coming up with this trade mission, we looked at aspects where by women can find it very easy to trade with one another in the East African markets,” Muthoni said.

She noted that there is need for EAC governments to put in place policies to allow women access education, skills and capital which can make their businesses flourish. She also  emphasized on governments investment in training and education to allow women to upgrade their entrepreneurship skills. She also called upon the governments in the EAC to understand the needs of small scale traders as well as the gender dimensions.

According to her, several African countries are part of the regional integration schemes but the implementation track record remains very weak. She added that investing in implementing the regional integration will make the region more prosperous socially and economically.

“Our coming here is to join hands as Kenya and Rwanda entrepreneurs because at the end of the day, if we want to go fast, we can only work alone but when we want to walk far we can join hands and work together and ensure that the woman of East Africa is one woman who is strong socially and economically,” Muthoni stated.

Also speaking at the event, the President of the Chamber of Women at the Private Sector Federation (PSF), Eugenie Mushimiyimana said, the chamber was created in 2005 and it has since made a number of strides as regards to promotion of women entrepreneurship in the country.

“The primary mandate of our chamber is to empower women in business and to achieve that we focus on advocacy, networking, capacity building and forming partnerships with key stakeholders,” Mushimiyimana said.


Source: Rwanda Focus

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