The digital platform is designed to address the information that is needed by women in business and connect them via a custom-built social networking tool that was launched in Kigali, Rwanda on November 21st 2019. PHOTO|FILE.
COMESA, East African Community and ECOWAS launched a networking platform to connect 50 million African women in business
The African Women Speak platform provides information on starting and growing a business, and has a social networking feature for women entrepreneurs to learn from and do business with each other.
The digital platform is designed to address the information that is needed by women in business and connect them via a custom-built social networking tool that was launched in Kigali, Rwanda on November 21st 2019.
“I certainly believe that the creation of this platform is a very practical way of speaking to the general agenda of empowering women. I think a lot has been said and now we have come to a stage where we have practical initiatives such as this one,” said COMESA Secretary General Chileshe Kapwepwe.
The platform was
unveiled during the Global Gender Summit in Rwanda’s capital Kigali, it
primarily seeks to help economically empower women by providing a one-stop shop
for a wide range of financial and non-financial services that women need to
start and grow successful businesses.
The initiative is implemented by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). This will allow women in thirty eight African countries to find information on running businesses, accessing financial services, create business opportunities online and access training resources, ultimately contributing to their economic empowerment.
Through a robust social networking functionality that has been embedded in the platform, women will have opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, mentoring and sharing information and knowledge, connecting via the web-based platform or through the 50 Million African Women Speak mobile app.
The platform is
touted as having the potential to unleash a dynamic online community of women
entrepreneurs whose business activities transcend borders.
“Sixty five percent of the traded commodities in the East Africa region come from agriculture—a sector that employs 80% of women. This platform will help this big part of our population to expand markets and get new opportunities,” said Hon. Christophe Bazivamo, EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors.