The International Trade Centre (ITC) in collaboration with the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) Zimbabwe hosted a trade forum to explore how the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) can help empower women entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe and this is in line with women’s inclusion in the 2021 National Budget.
The forum canvassed for the involvement of women in the AfCFTA as participants and as beneficiaries.
Speaking during the forum Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni conceded the imperative role of women in Zimbabwe and beyond in their respective economies, yet still trailed behind due to lack of access to markets and information.
“This initiative creates more opportunities for women to market their products and services. Access to market opportunities has been one of the major challenges SME women face but this initiative takes care of such challenges.
“The AfCFTA has provided an unmatched opportunity for exports and Government is fully supportive of this and will facilitate capacitation of women MSMEs to ensure they benefit as well,” Nyoni said.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube committed to prioritize women emancipation as part of efforts to address the social inequalities and strike a gender balance in all spheres of the economy.
“The 2021 Budget will further support and capacitate empowerment institutions such as the Women and Development Bank, Zimbabwe Women Microfinance Bank, Community Development Fund, Empowerment Bank and SMEs institutions,” Ncube said.
This will boost their participation in mainstream economic activities while generating equal access to finances, as well as access to public services without preconceptions.
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