ECOWAS opens business incubator centres for women empowerment in Burkina Faso
Group photograph of dignitaries at the launching ceremony of the business incubator centre (ECOWAS)
London, Feb. 26, 2018 (AltAfrika)-The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has inaugurated a business incubator centre in Tenkodogo, Burkina Faso as part of steps to empower women and promote gender equality in the region, especially in its rural areas through the Business Incubator for African Women Entrepreneurs (BIAWE)
The initiative, supported by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the Spanish Fund will enable 300 women from rural communities in Burkina Faso develop small and medium scaled enterprises.
The pilot phase will last for 15 months and is expected to cost 245,000 euros.
The ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Social Affairs and Gender, Dr. Fatimata Dia Sow, at the opening of the centre in Tenkodogo, said the program would build the capacity of female entrepreneurs in the agriculture sector by professionalising and modernising their skills in processing cereals, cassava and fish.
The Commissioner disclosed that Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone had be singled out for the pilot phase of this program which is expected to be replicated in other West African Countries.
ECOWAS Commissioner for Social Affairs and Gender, Dr. Fatimata Dia Sow, addressing members of the Press at the launching ceremony. (ECOWAS)
She said this was because of the particularly difficult conditions women in those countries face in terms of gender equality and economic empowerment.
‘Many constraints prevent these women from undertaking viable long-term economic projects. In addition to the socio-cultural constraints that hinder the initiatives of these rural women, access to local and regional markets and finance have been a great challenge to them’, she added.
The Burkina Faso Minister of Women Affairs, National Solidarity and the Family, Hélène Marie Laurence Ilboudo Marchal in her remarks during the opening ceremony, reiterated the commitment of her government to ensure that the program receives every support it needs to be successful.
The Minister commended ECOWAS’ efforts in empowering women and promoting gender equality in the region as she declared the centre officially open.
The BIAWE project is executed by the ECOWAS Commission in partnership with the NEPAD and Spanish Funds. Its aim is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger while promoting gender equality and women empowerment.