The active involvement of women and youth in economic activities and entrepreneurship is crucial for Africa's economic development and sustainability, according to Mr. Osman Mumuda, the Ashanti Regional Director of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Mr Mumuda emphasized that linking Africa's path to industrialization with women and youth entrepreneurship is vital for economic growth.
Speaking at a women's conference in Kumasi, Mr. Mumuda highlighted the critical roles that women and youth play in trade and industrialization.
The conference, organized by the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry in partnership with the German Development Cooperation, focused on the theme “Making AfCFTA Work Through a Deliberate Inclusion of Women.”
The event provided a platform to discuss challenges, educate participants, explore opportunities, and present policy recommendations under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to enhance women's understanding of available opportunities and enable them to make informed decisions.
Mr. Mumuda underscored the importance of women entrepreneurs in adopting technological knowledge and innovation for the rapid economic development of Africa.
He stated, “Currently, we see an increasing number of women entrepreneurs who are open to trying infinite business possibilities. Their role is vital because advances in economic development require business activities exhibiting both dynamism and stability, which are characteristic of successful women entrepreneurs in Ghana.”
Highlighting the recognition of the crucial role played by women-led businesses, Mr Mumuda mentioned that the AfCFTA Agreement includes a special protocol for women and youth-led businesses to negotiate trade.
This protocol is expected to be adopted in the next African Union meeting for operationalization.
In Ghana, efforts are underway to support women in business to export to the continental market. Government is also negotiating with banks to provide support to women-led businesses interested in exporting under AfCFTA, offering loans at a subsidized interest rate of 10 percent, according to Mr Mumuda.