LINDA NYONDO, Lusaka
COMMON Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has initiated a three-year project called 50 million African Women speak project worth US$13.3 million. Project coordinator David Sabiti said in an interview that the project aims to set up a platform that will allow women to participate and share experiences with urban and rural women entrepreneurs.
He said the project will enable women have access to financial services and promote entrepreneurial skills.
“The project will be funded by African Development Bank (AfDB) and regional communities with US$12 million coming from AfDB and the other US$1.3 million being sourced from regional communities,’’ he said.
The project will be managed by a standing committee which will have representations from the African Union, regional communities and women’s organisations from benefiting countries.
Mr Sabiti said women entrepreneurs from 36 African countries, which include Zambia, will benefit from the project.
He said the purpose of the project is to contribute to economic empowerment of women.
Mr Sabiti said the project which COMESA has initiated will be implemented through existing established ministries in 36 benefiting countries.
He said women entrepreneurs can easily have access to information by browsing on the website to get information and many business opportunities.
“The platform will be a very powerful tool of interaction; we will engage a firm which will design our website. The website will be user-friendly to make it easy for women to get information,’’ Mr Sabiti said.
He said the aim of the project is to improve the business of a few women who are in business and are struggling to develop their business because of their gender.
“Many African women fail to penetrate the business industry due to barriers such as lack of education, property rights and legal barriers,’’ Mr Sabiti said.