The Imo Government has pledged to increase its support for women entrepreneurs in the state through access to loans.The state’s Commissioner for Women Affairs and Vulnerable Groups, Mrs Nkechinyere Ugwu, made the pledge at a sensitisation workshop for businesswomen and their support providers.The workshop was organised by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and the International Trade Centre (ITC), in Owerri on Wednesday.
Ugwu, who commended the women for their resilience in spite of numerous economic challenges, promised to help them access loans for their businesses. She thanked Gov. Hope Uzodimma for providing the enabling environment for women-owned businesses to thrive in the state and pledged continued support for women-friendly initiatives. “Despite the numerous challenges facing businesses in the country and beyond, you, our businesswomen, have remained resilient and we are proud of you. “The state government will continue to support you financially and otherwise so as to improve our economy, improve livelihoods and maintain our place in the comity of states,” she said. In his remarks, NEPC’s Executive Director, Mr Ezra Yakusak, said that 25 Business Support Organisations (BSOs) had already been listed in the NEPC’s directory.Yakusak, represented by NEPC’s Trade Promotion Advisor in Imo, Mr Anthony Ajuruchi, called on women exporters to avail themselves of the financial and other forms of support. “Today, we are providing detailed information on various services offered by BSOs and the process of accessing the services and we’re doing on-the-spot registration with BSOs for those who cannot register on their own. “Many women are not benefitting from the BSOs for lack of information and sensitisation, hence this workshop,” he said.Ajuruchi, in his address, said that the programme, a brainchild of the Women in Export division of NEPC’s Export Development and Incentives Department, was designed to move the business landscape in Imo to the next level.He mentioned some of the BSOs to include women associations, cooperatives, government and Non Governmental Organisations.“One of the aims of the BSO directory project is to close the gap between women entrepreneurs and BSOs who can help them to grow their businesses.“Knowledge is power and we shall continue to seek it for entrepreneurs in Imo to build their capacity”, he said.Also, Vice President of the Imo Exporters League, Mrs Amaka Onwumere, urged women exporters to identify with the League so as to have increased access to vital information and available incentives.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event was attended by businesswomen, entrepreneurs and exporters from various parts of the state.VIN
It is paramount to empower East African companies to meet internationally agreed standards, for the sake of the environment and the economy.GENEVA, Switzerland, November 25, 2021 / APO Group / -
Textiles and leather promise to create a lot of decent employment (including for women) and contribute to increased exports to build overall green economies in East Africa. At today's 'Going4Green' conference, the International Trade Center (ITC), which supports these priority sectors through its Supporting India Trade and Investment in Africa (SITA) project, provides stakeholders with two reports technical and business solutions seminars.
SITA delivered Going4Green in partnership with the Kenya Manufacturers Association (KAM) in a hybrid format; the conference was in person for those based in Nairobi, and virtual for those who joined from the rest of East Africa, India and ITC headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
At the beginning of Going4Green, Ashish Shah, Director of ITC's National Programs Division, presented the two new SITA reports. Both “provide concise and actionable recommendations” for policy makers and business support organizations (BSOs) supporting the textile and leather sectors in the East African region. The reports, reflecting on the Indian leather and textile sectors and experience in them, are now officially released and therefore available in PDF format online:Going for Green: White Paper Renewable Energy in East Africa: White Paper
Textiles and leather are priority sectors for sustainable development in East Africa. However, these industries are also often high polluters. In addition to consuming fossil fuels, the production of textiles and leather affects the quality of the local environment, especially water sources. Meanwhile, the rise in sustainable consumption around the world has put pressure on the big global fashion brands to be sustainable, which means that manufacturers must meet sustainability standards in order to be competitive as suppliers. In addition, “the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is further pushing companies to increase their competitiveness,” added Miriam Bomett, KAM's Deputy Director for Policy Research and Advocacy, representing the conference co-organizers. His point demonstrates the relevance and timeliness of the Going4Green event: now that sustainability is the key yardstick against which textile companies are compared, the AfCFTA actually adds further pressure on companies to become certified sustainable.
Therefore, it is critical to train East African companies to meet internationally agreed standards, for the sake of the environment and the economy. Okay, Hon Betty C. Maina EGH, Cabinet Secretary, Kenyan Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Business Development, used her keynote address to reaffirm that the Kenyan government is committed to supporting the textile and apparel sectors. and leather to meet sustainability standards. Like all governments in the region, Kenya recognizes the economic benefits of the transition to sustainability.
However, in East Africa, policy makers and business support organizations (BSOs) often have a limited understanding of international standards and limited access to information. In today's release of reports, SITA and KAM have teamed up to rectify this and, in Mr. Shah's words, "help governments establish the physical and regulatory infrastructure to 'go green.'
To support Going4Green governments, SITA reports draw on insights from the Indian development experience. At the launch event, the Indian High Commissioner in Kenya, His Excellency Dr. Virander Paul, explained that SITA's Renewable Energy report "is based on specific aspects of India's renewable energy ecosystem, including legislative aspects. and institutional ", having provided a snapshot of India's Renewable Energy Story, which boasts" the fastest growing renewable energy capacity in the world ".
Following the release of the policy briefs, SITA hosted solution-based seminars to help MSMEs navigate environmental compliance for export certification and learn ways they can access financing, a key ingredient in creating the capacity needed to become sustainable.
The one-day event brought together around 140 East African businesses, legislators and trade associations who came together on the spot in Nairobi, as well as virtually On behalf of the Ministry, Hon Betty C. Maina, expressed that her team was “grateful to SITA and KAM for producing these publications, which will allow us to help SMEs navigate through environmental compliance in the green economy. "
In addition to thanking manufacturers, designers, professionals and key players in the leather and footwear sectors in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda, ITC / SITA and KAM, we thank the following partners for contributing to the successful event:Ministry of Industry, Trade and Business Development High Commission of India in Kenya
The event was chaired by Anda Valla Efendija, Program Officer, SITA, and Soumyajit Kar, Associate Program Officer, SITA.