JB says women empowerment key to attaining Africa’s socio-economic development

Malawi President Joyce Banda has wound up her trip to Uganda with a call on African women to aggressively pursue entrepreneurship to change their lives.

President Banda, who was in the Ugandan capital, Kampala for the 16th summit of COMESA heads of state and government, said economic empowerment of women is a sure key to attaining Africa’s socio-economic development.

She was speaking at the 25th anniversary of the Ugandan Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited.  The President, who was guest of honor at the gala award, observed that what African women need now is adequate technical and financial support to venture into viable businesses.

Banda, therefore, called on COMESA and lending institutions in member states to offer soft loans to women entrepreneurs who are running or intend to run small and medium enterprises.

She also urged women in COMESA states and beyond to partner with each other in their businesses, saying she sees shared business opportunities in women be it from Uganda, Malawi, Kenya, Ghana and Liberia.

President Banda with women 

“Space has been created for African women to prosper, we have no excuse because there are a lot of powerful women in Africa who can make this possible, let us put our efforts and skills together so that we can all prosper as a nation and a continent,” said the Malawi leader

President Banda commended her Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri Museveni for championing women empowerment.  She said now that women are being given space, it was time they rose above the challenges they face and proved themselves by going into serious entrepreneurship.

She, however, urged women leaders to reach out to rural women, most of whom are in the informal sector, so they too graduate from poverty.

The Malawi leader advised the women to have courage and move on even in the face of hurdles, citing her own personal story as an example of what endurance achieves.  She told the women to be optimistic and to avoid associating themselves with pessimists lest they be discouraged.

Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited supports Ugandan women in business.

During the function, the President presented awards to women entrepreneurs who had made significant contributions towards improving the socio-economic status of women in Uganda.   The Malawi President attended the gala awards at the invitation of that country’s First Lady, Janet Museveni.

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