HomeOpinion & AnalysisLettersFunding women’s innovative projects revs Africa’s economy

Funding women’s innovative projects revs Africa’s economy

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DESPITE Africa’s informal sector employing more than 80% of the workforce, it receives little or no attention when it comes to government policy implementation.

This neglect leaves it exposed to the ravages of unavailable financing or expensive credit which slows down the achievement of the sector’s full potential in growing the various economies.

While this is the general view, it gets even worse for women-owned enterprises which struggle from age-old patriarchal approaches to doing business as well as the delicate balancing act that women have to innately learn since they are the ones who also run their homes in many cases.

Despite all these challenges, women in business have a big role to play in a post-COVID-19 Africa and could significantly reduce the continent’s high dependence on imports of essential food, medical and pharmaceutical items.

As we rebuild our economies after COVID-19 and seek to turn vulnerabilities into opportunities, let us recall that intra-Africa trade is still very low at less than 20% and that women entrepreneurs have a big role to play in boosting this.

Reduced economic activity stemming from lockdowns, curfews and disruptions in international trade have affected the region immensely.

Today, in Rwanda for example, women entrepreneurs head more than 42% of enterprises. They contribute 78% in cross-border trade, and cross-border trade contributes 30% to the gross domestic product.

Women need to be empowered as a pathway for achieving sustainable development goals.

Women with sound and innovative business projects in Rwanda are supported to acquire start-up capital from financial institutions through guarantee and grant facilities.

With the pandemic, women are suffering more leading to decreased output.

The disproportionate and negative impact of the pandemic on women and girls, especially in the economic sphere, creates a need to place women at the centre of all response initiatives.

Women should be agents of change for socio-economic transformation, and when their economic development is bolstered, it has a favourable net effect on the welfare of their
families.

With the challenges accompanying small businesses stymying their growth, women suffer the brunt of it all since they also have to juggle several other balls in a continent which is home to 16% of the world’s population.Further Afrika

Never stop dreaming, always search for answers

LIFE is Zimbabwe has for more than two decades, been unbearable.

Despite these circumstances, we do not need to give up. Giving up should be at the back of our minds.

You have a purpose for living. When you were born, there was a purpose assigned for you to accomplish.

You have discovered that you live to be an entrepreneur, to bring unique solutions in our African continent and humanity.

How awesome it is discovering your purpose? Living a meaningful life and fulfilling your destiny, did you know that the world has been waiting for you to manifest your uniqueness and fit in the part of the puzzle called life?

Be proud of who you are. Despite hurdles and challenges, press on and move forward. As you are doing so, a better you is being revealed. Have you noticed that when you lack ingredients, you tend to be creative to make sure you cook tasty food?

In the midst of the challenge of having less ingredients, it can make you understand things you didn’t know about before.

Scientists discover things when they focus their minds to searching for solutions to problems societies face at any given time.

So entrepreneurs, never stop being creative, take time to ponder and think how they can make things better.

Challenge the normal and see how it can be improved to serve humanity better.

Even the solution you found before needs constant improvement. Never stop dreaming and searching for more, fulfil your destiny.

Rise up Zimbabwe! Simuka Zimbabwe! Phakama Zimbabwe! It is your time to shine!Mai Ruru

Mugabe was a saint, after all

WHILE we all agree that the late former President Robert Mugabe had his own shortcomings. But, to be honest, I believe we were better off under his leadership because the rate of corruption, abductions, torture and killing of unarmed civilians was not all that rampant.

Mugabe left the presidency with people affording to buy bread on a daily basis and almost everything was affordable and we all had the best Christmas holidays ever between 2009 and 2013.

Then in came the so-called new dispensation, which pushed Mugabe, a saint, out of power.

All they wanted was to access State coffers, and we were fooled to believe the propaganda that they were just targeting criminals surrounding Mugabe.

Five years down the line, vultures have encircled the carcass. It is now free-for-all.

The coming in of President Emmerson Mnangagwa actually made sure the power grabbers would enslave the people of Zimbabwe because they are working for nothing.

How do we explain that a degreed teacher earns $32 000? That same teacher is expected to send his/her child to a boarding school, forking out US$500.

We are not in a war situation where our inflation rate has raced to 96,4% and the new dispensation still claims that there is no crisis in Zimbabwe.

The price of a two-litre bottle of cooking oil rose from US$2,70 to US$7 last week.

Since Mnangagwa’s ascendancy to power, the country has now become breeding ground for thieves who are aware that they will never face justice because the country is an animal farm where some animals are more equal than others.

Mnangagwa’s leadership has been dogged by policy inconsistencies. The centre no longer holds and all those in Zanu PF cannot dispute that.

It is now clear that Mnangagwa and his cronies need to be replaced as a matter of urgency. Chief Chiduku

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