EMPOWERING WOMEN, POWERING TRADE

When women trade, economies grow

Women’s economic empowerment has a significant impact on economies. Strategic interventions towards women can result not just in the improvement of the lives of the target groups, but in what has been described as ‘an astonishing cascade of positive benefits to whole nations…’

Source: WEF Global Gender Gap Report 2014

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EMPOWERING WOMEN, POWERING TRADE

When women trade economies grow

The United Nations estimates that more than half a billion women have joined the world’s labour force during the past 30 years, and women now account for more than 40 % of workers worldwide.

In East Africa, women participation in the labour force constitutes over 60% in all the Partner States (UNDP 2014).

Women contribute about 70% of agricultural labour and produce about 75% of all food and thus are critical stakeholders in food security in the EAC.

Women in Tanzania are responsible for as much as 80% of the staple food items and provide between 70-80% of all agricultural labour.

In Uganda, women contribute 90% of all labour involving food production.

In Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi, women contribute between 75-90 % to all labour involving food production. Since the agriculture sector contributes between 20 and 40% to the GDPs of all the EAC Partner States, the quality and quantity of women’s contribution to socio-economic growth should be central to the development of the region.
Source: Regional Strategy for Promoting Women in Business for Socio-Economic Development 2015-2025.

In Kenya, women provide over 85% of labour in agricultural sector and women owned business make about 48% of all SMEs contributing approximately 20% to Kenya’s GDP (KAM Publication May 2017).Eliminating gender based inequalities and advancing women’s equality this could potentially result to a one off increase to as much as 4.3% of GDP growth followed by year on year increase of between 2-3.5% points.
Source: KEPSA Women’s Agenda 2016/17

In South Sudan, women constitute about 70% of the traders engaged in informal trade with the neighbouring countries of Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya and are therefore critical in food security and welfare of their families amidst cyclical conflict.
Source: TMEA SS Assessment 2015

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WOMEN SPEAK ON TRADE, STORIES OF TRIUMPH

Afsa Uwingabire is an informal cross-border trader who has faced a multitude of challenges in her business venture but through the assistance of Pro-Femmes and TMEA, she has learnt skills and acquired knowledge to help her overcome them.

Here is Afsa’s story.

WOMEN SPEAK ON TRADE, STORIES OF TRIUMPH

Jennifer Mwijukye broke into a the very male-dominated logistics scene and through hard work, determination and the assistance of Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Ltd and TMEA, she has emerged as a key player in the industry.

Here's Jennifer's story.

WOMEN SPEAK ON TRADE, STORIES OF TRIUMPH

Kibibi Jafari is an informal cross-border trader whose business nearly came to an absolute halt but with the training and support of Tanzania Women Chambers of Commerce and TMEA, she has risen above her challenges and expanded her markets.

Here's Kibibi's story.

WOMEN SPEAK ON TRADE, STORIES OF TRIUMPH

Miriam Babu is an informal trader who overcame insurmountable challenges as a cross-border trader whose business has seen an impressive improvement in business practices and ease of trade thanks to training from EASSI and TMEA.

Here's Miriam's story.

WOMEN SPEAK ON TRADE, STORIES OF TRIUMPH

Wanja Getambu has set a niche for herself in the logistics industry by leveraging technology and innovation in the tracking business. She has greatly benefitted from Joyful Women Organization and TMEA assistance while empowering more women in the industry.

Here's Wanja's story.

OUR RESPONSE

The Women and Trade programme seeks to increase incomes and improve livelihoods for women traders and women-owned enterprises through capacity building, addressing trade barriers and advocacy for policies that will create an enabling environment for women traders and women-led SMEs. This is part of a larger initiative by TMEA to tackle poverty and reduce inequality through increased trade and competitiveness.

Country Implementing Partner
Uganda Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Ltd
Rwanda Pro-Femmes/Twese Hamwe
Kenya Joyful Women Organization
Tanzania Tanzania Women Chambers of Commerce
Burundi Association for Women Entrepreneurs in Burundi (AFAB)
South Sudan South Sudan Women Entrepreneurs Association, Chamber of Women Entrepreneurs (COWE)
Regional: EASSI, UNCTAD, ITC, EAWiBP

TARGET BENEFICIARIES:

Women entrepreneurs, exporters, urban traders, manufacturers/processors and cross border traders.

Challenge

Limited access to market and trading information

Interventions

  • Establishment of resource centres/information centres at select border posts
  • Provision of market and trade information through bulk sms platforms
  • Sensitisation of women traders
  • Simplfication and dissemination of trade procedures

Challenge

Cumbersome border processes and procedures

Interventions

  • Facilitation of dialogue between women cross border traders and border officials
  • Advocacy campaigns for increased transparency and harmonisation of cross border procedures
  • Advocacy for simplification of procedures from small traders
  • Sensitisation of traders on their rights and responsibilities
  • Sensitization of border officials on gender dimensions of trade

Challenge

Weak representation

Interventions

Institutional capacity building of women associations and platforms on advocacy

  • Establishment of the East African Women in Business Platform to represent women in business across the EAC
  • Establishment of national and regional women cross border trader associations.
  • Lobbying for the representation for women traders representation in the Joint Border Management Committees
  • Challenge

    Limited access to regional and international markets

    Interventions

    Institutional capacity building of women associations and platforms on advocacy

  • Training on certification, quality control, standards
  • Provide business development services
  • Establish cooperatives to facilitate collective and affordable access to transportation, aggregation and bulking the women traders
  • Facilitate B2B linkages with the regional and international buyers
  • Build the capacity of the women traders on good agricultural practices (GAP)
  • Facilitate linkages with regulatory bodies like national bureaus of standards
  • PLAY YOUR PART

    Policy Makers: Create an enhanced policy environment for women traders by-; enforcing enabling legislation and policies that improve women’s economic participation; enabling changes to policy and institutions that promote women’s participation in economic life which allow them to increase the use of formal trading channels.

    Partners: Cultivate innovative and sustainable solutions that will foster empowerment and greater inclusivity for women in trade

    Investors: Catalyse funding and foster strategic partnerships for the Women and Trade Programme.

    CALL TO ACTION

    Creating a sustainable impact on women in trade is a joint effort that will require a scale up of existing solutions and more innovative partnerships that will ensure greater inclusion of women in trade and further the prosperity of East Africa.

    Join us. We appreciate the partnerships with the women groups, and our current donors. There is more to be done and TMEA welcomes engagements with other donors and women organisations to improve lives and grow EAC economies through women empowerment in trade.

    TALK TO US

    2nd Floor, Equatorial Fidelity Centre -Waiyaki Way, Westlands
    P.O. Box 313 00606
    Nairobi, Kenya
    +254 20 423 5000
    info@trademarkea.com