The Second Lady, Samira Bawumia has called on African governments to initiate policies and programmes to support women entrepreneurs and the growth of their businesses.
According to her, lack
of access to finance, legal discrimination and socio-cultural beliefs continued
to militate against women entrepreneurs on the continent, thus thwarting the
growth of their businesses.
Mrs Bawumia made the
call in Accra on Wednesday at the launch of the World Bank report on women
entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan African titled “Profiting from Parity: Unlocking
the Potential of Women’s Businesses in Africa.”
The flagship report which
is a joint production of the World Bank’s Africa Region Gender and Innovation
Lab and the Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice, highlights
challenges faced by women entrepreneurs and proffer solutions to address them.
The report mentioned legal
barriers, lack of access to finance and socio-cultural beliefs as some of the
challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The World Bank also
launched a programme to quarterly meet Civil Society Organisations to
deliberate on its implementation of the Human Capital Index which among,
others, is aimed at increasing investment in human capital, human capital
sensitive projects and services and support better policies for advancing human
The Second Lady said
entrepreneurship was crucial for job creation and the growth of the continent.
She said women
entrepreneurs constitute about 42 per cent of the continent’s population, the
highest in the world, and needed to be empowered to grow their businesses.
The Second Lady
explained that women entrepreneurs, who were economically empowered, stood the
chance of better catering for their families.
Mrs Bawumia said
government was committed to supporting women entrepreneurs in the country,
pointing out that the Ministry of Women and Business Development had allocated
GHȻ10 million to support Women Entrepreneurs in the country.
The Second Lady advised
women to take the “position of influence” and tap “opportunities” that come
The World Bank Group
Vice President for Africa, Hafez Ghanem in his remark called for policies to
support women entrepreneurs.
The Minister for Gender,
Children and Social Protection in her marks said her Ministry was focusing on
developing the human capital of both boys and girls in order to “leave no one
She encouraged women to
desist from spending lavishly on phones, shoes and bags and save their monies
for investment in businesses to become entrepreneurs.
The Minister pledged
her Ministry’s commitment to continue to mentor girls to create their own
businesses instead of becoming job seekers.
He also stressed the
need for Africa to improve its position on the Human Capital Index, saying
Africa was doing poorly among other continents.
Dr Ghanem attributed
Africa’s poor ranking on the World Human Capital Index to stunting, lack of
empowerment of girls and early child marriage.
He said though Ghana
was doing better on the Human Capital Index relative to the West African
countries, there was the need for the country to do more to compete with its
The World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Henry Kerali called for policies to create equal opportunities for both boys and girls.
By Kingsley Asare
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