Monday 2nd April 2012
Only few weeks after the configuration of the new Egypt, its main capital city, Cairo, is hosting the 6th African Congress for Women Entrepreneurs. The event will be held during three days.
With the support of the African-Spanish Women’s Network for a Better World, the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation, AECID, the African Development Bank and DANIDA, the Congress has brought more than 50 African women entrepreneurs from all over Africa. Participants from countries such as Sudan, Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia, Liberia, Equatorial Guinea, Senegal, Gabon and Mali are attending the Congress.
“Africa is the richer continent though the poorest one; why? Because we do not invest in our human resources, particularly in women, and in our raw materials” claimed Amany Asfour, President of the Egyptian Women Business Association, EBWA, one of the major organizers of the Congress. “We need to convert the potential of Africa into industrialization and into economic growth and to invest in African brains and in science and technology. Investing in women is about human resources development because if we do not empower women, and particularly African women, we will not reach the MDGs: poverty, health, education for all, sustainable environment”, she continued.
The opening ceremony was also attended by the ILO, the African Development Bank, the Network ‘New Faces, New voices’, founded by Graca Machel and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Egypt.
Fatoumata Traore, Member of the African-Spanish Women’s Network commented that “women have been and are always entrepreneurs in many fields, not only in the domestic sphere; therefore, they should assume this responsibility that they have to move forward”.
Representing ‘New Faces, New Voices’, its Executive Director, Nomsa Danel, from South Africa, read a message from the founder Graca Machel stating the major obstacles of women in businesses. “Women have more problems to operate into business than men, such as limited access to credit and to international markets, so building capacities is of high importance”, she mentioned.
Some of the solutions she proposed were “to establish cooperation between all African women, to increase women’s access to capital and promote training and vocational education”. These are as well some of the goals of ‘New Faces, New Voices’ together with the promotion of women in the financial positions and decision making. “At the end, we should try to multiply the faces of African women and amplify their voices”.