The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA), in conjunction with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), organised a conference to launch the “50 Million African Women Speak Digital Platform” in Egypt. The platform aims to boost Egyptian-African cooperation on trade and economic fields.
MSMEDA Deputy Executive Director Tarek Shash said, on behalf of Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea, that MSMEDA’s contribution into the launch of this Platform comes in tandem with Egypt’s orientations to reinforce economic cooperation and increase trade exchange with African countries. This comes as a further step to open new potential markets for products of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Shash added that such Platform crowns MSMEDA’s coordination efforts with lead organizations and institutions pioneering in comprehensive development and women empowerment in African countries, namely, the African Development Bank – a major donor agency sponsoring numerous landmark development agreements, programs and projects implemented by MSMEDA (since its inception and until now) in almost all Egypt’s governorates, and COMESA as well.
He emphasised that this digital Platform is indeed the first of its kind that connects 50 million African women on trade businesses within 38 African countries, adding it will effectively contribute to smoothing out the sharing of ideas, know-how and information among women entrepreneurs all across the African continent. He accordingly reiterated that MSMEDA shall be in charge of managing Egypt’s information and content on the Platform.
According to the African Development Bank’s Country Manager Malinne Blomberg, the Platform kick-start is a very promising initiative: it will enhance financial inclusion on one hand, and foster collaboration and information sharing between Egyptian women and their African counterparts on the other.
“We are confident that this Platform will improve the enabling environment for Egyptian women and indeed happy that it will be managed in Egypt through MSMEDA with which the Bank has been working closely for the last decade,” Ms. Blomberg elaborated.
“The 50 Million African Women Speak Digital Platform” is much more than a marketplace for Egyptian women to showcase their products or connect with buyers. It furthermore serves as a hub providing information on where these women can access financial services, business management training and financial literacy skilling, alongside useful tips on how to engage in import or export business,” said COMESA Secretary General Chileshe Mpundu Kapwepwe.
“COMESA has put into action this digital Platform that is funded by the African Development Bank at around $14m,” Kapwepwe added.