Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
Women constitute the majority rural poor in Africa. In addition, many women work in the informal sector, and in most situations with very little pay as compared to their male counterparts. For instance, over 70% of agricultural laborers are women. In addition, in the past 10-15 years the number of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) run by women has increased tremendously. However, most of these SMEs are risky endeavors with very little profit and without the necessary support, resources and skills to enable them to stand-out as sustainable areas of business.
To reverse these trends and to ultimately increase the number and sustain the income of the women running these SMEs, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Spanish Fund for African Women Empowerment in partnership with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the Federation of National Women Associations (FEMCOM) and with financial assistance from the Kingdom of Spain is implementing a 2-year pilot project on Business Incubation for African Women Entrepreneurs (BIAWE) in the COMESA region.
On 17-18 September 2009, representatives of the NEPAD Spanish Fund, COMESA, FEMCOM and the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI) which was selected to provide the business incubation services will convene in Nairobi for a meeting on the implementation of the BIAWE project.
WHAT : The media is invited to attend the Opening Ceremony and Welcoming Remarks at this engagement
WHO : Speakers : COMESA Representatives WHEN : Thursday, 17 September 2009 at 09:00am
WHERE : Kenya Industrial Research Development Institute (KIRDI) Popo Road off Mobasa Road (Near Kenya Bureau of Standard) Nairobi South C
For more information or to arrange an interview with one of the speakers, please contact :
+254 02 555 738
Mr. Samuel M. Wambugu on :
+27 11 256 3600
Mr. Robert Muyanga,
Mr. Louis Gnagbe and/or
Ms. Millicent Seganoe at
Representatives from the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Gender unit, the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI), The Federation of National Women in Business Association (FEMCOM) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) will convene here from 17 – 18 September to kick-start a 2-year pilot project on Business Incubation for African Women Entrepreneurs (BIAWE) in the COMESA region.
The aim of the BIAWE project, which is funded by the Kingdom of Spain, is to economically empower women entrepreneurs in the COMESA region. This will contribute to the Millennium Development Goals and development priorities in Africa, through enhancing capacities of women to participate in local and regional trade. The business incubation services of the project will be provided by KIRDI to boost the creation of women led Small to Medium Enterprises (SMES). “The purpose of this pilot project is to develop, test and apply practical business incubation that can boost the incomes and skills of women that are running small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in handcrafts, agro-processing and information and communication technologies,” said Ms. Rosalie LO, NEPAD’s Advisor on Gender, Parliamentary affairs & Civil Society .
“Agriculture accounts for over a third of Africa’s gross domestic product and almost 60 percent of its export income. We especially need to improve the role of smallholder African farmers in the region’s economies if we are to alleviate poverty and hunger on the continent.” “Women constitute the majority rural poor in Africa. In addition, many women work in the informal sector, and in most situations with very little pay as compared to their male counterparts. To help reverse these trends - this project is zeroing in on improving the long-term sustainability of SMEs that are run by women” she added. Although the past 10-15 years have witnessed an increase in the number of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) that are run by women these ventures are still poorly resourced, managed and run without the necessary access to adequate finance.
It is in this regard that the BIAWE project is looking to carry out business incubation training for over 100 women that are involved in agro-processing, ICTs and handcrafts. The women, who are from across the COMESA region, are also expected to develop their business plans, access finance through a credit scheme, create jobs for other women, train other women entrepreneurs and to also come up with new products that can be sold in the local and regional markets. The aim is to ensure that the women whose businesses are at grass root level are trained to be able to produce products that are of a high quality and can be sold in World markets
The NEPAD Spanish Fund is aimed at spearheading gender mainstreaming within all NEPAD Policies and programs, ensuring that civil society organizations (CSOs) are mobilized to effectively participate in the NEPAD implementation process and to maintains an increasingly interactive link with African Parliamentarians
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact
Ms. Millicent Seganoe at +27 11 256 3600 Nairobi, 17-18 September 2009 -