Women entrepreneurs root for intra-African trade

KAMPALA-Women entrepreneurs have asked African governments to formulate policies that will facilitate intra-African trade as opposed to allowing the continent to be a dumping place for finished products from other regions.

Speaking at the first annual Women Business Leaders Conference in Kampala yesterday, Dr Amany Asfour, the Comesa business council president, said Africa is the richest in resource endowment but its citizens are the poorest.

This, she said, is because governments have accepted to be a dumping place rather than turning the continent’s resources to help their owners.

“As Africans, we must encourage intra-trade.encourage business linkages and turn our resources into quality products and not a dumping place for Chinese products,” Dr Asfour said.

Access to finance
She added that governments should offer women entrepreneurs technical assistance, facilitate access to technology, encourage quality hands-on education, entrepreneurial culture and access to affordable finances as key to transforming the business environment on the continent.

“We should have access to finance but giving money without training will not help. We encourage the culture of Pan-Africanism where African products are bought,” she said.

The two day conference, which started yesterday (November 27) and ends tomorrow (November 29), is organised by the Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited and received a Shs5 million sponsorship package from Standard Chartered Bank early in the week.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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