MILLENUIM DEVELOPMENT GOALS AND AFRICAN WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS IN AFRICA (The African Studies centre public Discussions) LUCIA QUACHEY (MRS) Keynote Address at a public meeting of African and international Experts meeting with Dutch audience to - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Title: MILLENUIM DEVELOPMENT GOALS AND AFRICAN WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS IN AFRICA (The African Studies centre public Discussions) LUCIA QUACHEY (MRS) Keynote Address at a public meeting of African and international Experts meeting with Dutch audience to


1
MILLENUIM DEVELOPMENT GOALS AND AFRICAN WOMEN
ENTREPRENEURS IN AFRICA(The African Studies
centre public Discussions)LUCIA QUACHEY
(MRS)Keynote Address at a public meeting of
African and international Experts meeting with
Dutch audience to discuss the millennium
Goals.Leiden, Netherlands8-12 November,
2005
2
Millennium Development Goals and African Women
Entrepreneurs in Africa The Role of AFWE and GAWE
  • INTRODUCTION
  • The inability of Africans economy to turn the
    tide of underdevelopment low food production
    levels, balance of payment difficulties,
    inflation, rapid population growth, low or
    negative GDP growth rates, high cost of borrowing
    declines in social services and standards, etc,
    have brought to the fore discussions on the role
    of women entrepreneurs and the development of the
    informal productive sector in Africa.
  • Lately, attention has begun to fall on the use
    and benefits of alternative approaches to
    development. It is this new policy setting that
    brings about the need to explore the potential
    contribution of women entrepreneurs in the
    informal and small scale industrial sector to
    Africas economic recovery and development.
  • Entrepreneurship in all its diversity in Africa
    provides a dynamic and potentially efficient
    means of meeting many of the emerging challenges
    of the development and debt crisis in Africa.
  • However Entrepreneurship in the African context
    remains concerned with the graduation of informal
    sector ventures with a realistic business
    prospectus to better established and endowed
    enterprise, as well as promotion of economic
    diversification, export to niche market, future
    growth and higher living standards.

3
Millennium Development Goals and African Women
Entrepreneurs in Africa The Role of AFWE and
GAWE CONT.
  • A number of United Nations Resolutions have
    stressed the importance of developing indigenous
    entrepreneurial capabilities as a means of
    accelerating recovery and sustaining development.
    The Arusha and Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies
    for the Advancement of Women as well as the Abuja
    Declaration of Participatory Development (which
    defined the role of women in Africa in the 90s),
    have also emphasized the importance of enhancing
    the capacities of women entrepreneurs as means of
    increasing their contribution to economic
    recovery and development.
  • These strategies urgently demand that concrete
    efforts be made by African women entrepreneurs to
    develop stronger links between women
    entrepreneurs in all African countries at all
    levels to strengthen womens capabilities to deal
    and cope with the increasing challenges of the
    global market in order to increase market share
    and eradicate acute poverty amongst women.
  • It is against this back ground, the GAWE
    initiated and organized the first Global Women
    Entrepreneurs Trade Fair and Investment Forum-
    the first of its kind to be initiated and
    organized by women themselves.

4
ENTREPRISING WOMEN THE BUSINESS OF BUILDING
WOMENS ECONOMIC NETWORKS
  • The First Global Women Entrepreneurs Trade Fair
    and investment Forum held in Accra on the June
    1996 was a clear evidence of women building their
    own capacity when given the necessary support
    from the UN- Specialized Agencies and System and
    other donor agencies and governments are
    available.
  • The main theme for the First Global Women
    Entrepreneurs Trade Fair and Investment Forum was
    Foreign Private Direct Investment in Women
    Businesses for Economic Recovery and Development
    in Africa the objectives was to sensitized
    members of AFWE of the need to adopt an attitude
    change and set aside individualism in order to
    face the challenger of under-development of women
    in particular and the development of Africa in
    general.

5
ENTREPRISING WOMEN THE BUSINESS OF BUILDING
WOMENS ECONOMIC NETWORKS CONT.
  • The other objectives were
  • To create a unique opportunities for women
    entrepreneurs from all over the world to network
    economically
  • To provide new growth opportunities for women
    entrepreneurs to emerges in the national global
    economy
  • To expose products made by women to potential
    buyers and investors.
  • To test quality of products against
    internationally acceptable standard
  • To encourage women entrepreneurs to pull their
    resources together maximize their output and
    improve competitiveness in a liberalized and
    globalized market.
  • To review the Beijing Platform for Action in
    relation to the economic empowerment of women.
  • To promote non-traditional export products and
    services etc
  • Let me share some of the experiences of the
    Global Fair and Investment Fora with you.

6
ENTREPRISING WOMEN THE BUSINESS OF BUILDING
WOMENS ECONOMIC NETWORKS CONT.
  • AFWE and GAWE realized there are opportunities
    for the development of the informal sector and
    took advantage of the available opportunities and
    make use of it, by making use of available micro
    and macro policies and lobby for more policies
    that will hasten the growth of the sector.
  • For example, after the Beijing Platform for
    Action in 1995, GAWE took the initiative to
    practicalize the empowerment of women by
    organizing the First Global Women Entrepreneurs
    Trade Fair and Investment Forum.
  • The idea of Africa trading with itself in
    addition to inter-continental trade is very
    famous among African Women in the informal cross
    boarder trade sector and had been visualized in
    Arusha, Tanzania by Mrs. Ruth Engo in February,
    1990 during the Popular Participation Program.
    She had visualized in a poem, the day a truck
    load of goods would arrive Burkina Faso from
    Accra in Ghana with Kente cloths and head back
    home with mud cloth and other Burkina Faso
    popular products.
  • The First Global Women Entrepreneurs Trade Fair
    and Investment Forum is a realization of that
    vision which brought together diplomats,
    ministers, public servants, government, chiefs
    and religious leaders. It brought existing
    interrelations amongst the various national
    associations of women entrepreneurs grouped under
    the umbrella of African Federation of Women
    Entrepreneurs (AFWE). It showed power in numbers
    and what women can do when given the opportunity
    to do so.

7
ENTREPRISING WOMEN THE BUSINESS OF BUILDING
WOMENS ECONOMIC NETWORKS CONT.
  • The Trade Fair and Investment Forum held in Accra
    June 26-3July, was a boom. This boom has been
    paramount in the clothing and textile sectors
    where batik products and tie and dye are in high
    demand in Zambia, Tanzania, Sierra Leone,
    Zimbabwe, South Africa and the United State of
    America. Large orders of these products are
    keeping employers and their employees in Ghana
    busy.
  • Equally, on the fast track of demand is the hair
    braiding style of Ghana for which Joyce Arts has
    got a contract to establish a salon in Namibia,
    Akos Engineering services, makers of agricultural
    machinery in Ghana are meeting the needs of the
    Nigeria agricultural sector, agricultural
    machinery are also now serving the needs of
    Ghanaian small farmers.
  • The effectiveness of coming together of women
    entrepreneurs in Africa and the rest of the world
    to deliberate on how they can effectively work
    together to build their capacities and enhance
    the economy of their various countries was quite
    evident during the above forum. It created a
    platform for women to network economically, most
    of all it provide the rest of the world the
    opportunity to see Africa at one spot.
  • The Forum also provided opportunity for women
    entrepreneurs all over the world to share
    practical real experiences with each other. The
    Investment Forum was held simultaneously with the
    trade fair to expose women entrepreneurs to ways
    of enhancing their current businesses or creating
    new ones. Topics discussed during the workshops
    ranged from the role of women entrepreneurs in
    the growth of the informal sector the use of
    technology to aid womens businesses.

8
ENTREPRISING WOMEN THE BUSINESS OF BUILDING
WOMENS ECONOMIC NETWORKS CONT.
  • 650 women participated from 38 African Countries,
    and from Pakistan, Canada, India, England,
    Germany, Malaysia, Trinidad and Tobago,
    Australia, and USA.
  • The conference recognized that the world economy
    is moving towards what have been termed global
    village where boundaries are nonexistent.
    Already, trading partners such as the EEC, NAFTA,
    ASEAN, CARICOM and others are being formed to
    facilitate trade between nations. However, Africa
    has 53 boundaries, even though there are regional
    economic groups like ECOWAS, COMESA, SADC etc,
    there are yet to make any meaningful impact in
    terms of regional trade.
  • Therefore AFWE/GAWE have been advocating for one
    currency for trade purposes in Africa, in order
    to make trading comfortable for informal cross
    boarders traders. ECOWAS has started preparation
    for the use of the ECO across West African
    countries but only the Anglophone countries
    including Senegal, and Corte de lviore has joined
    Ghana, Nigeria, Gambia and Sierra Leone to use
    the ECO when it comes into force.
  • There are conditions these countries need to meet
    before the take off the monetary system i.e.
    inflation rate, interest rate, per capital
    income, GDP growth rate should be 12 per annum
    to qualify these countries start the use of the
    ECO as a legal tender currency in all the West
    African States.

9
ENTREPRISING WOMEN THE BUSINESS OF BUILDING
WOMENS ECONOMIC NETWORKS CONT.
  • Globalization also means that products from
    everywhere are being measured by the same
    standards. Moreover, the rapid development in
    information technology such as the internet has
    meant that those who already have better access
    to lucrative markets are poised to strengthen
    their hold on such markets by sheer speed of
    communication. This makes it more difficult for
    women who are less fortunate than their male
    counter part as far as education and access to
    technology and other resources are concern.
  • The recommendations from the forum was given to
    Ms.Gertrude Mongela to present to the OAU heads
    of States meeting that took place in Yaoundé,
    Cameroon, 1996. We did not stop there we did a
    fellow up to the 1st Global in 1997, to address
    some of the concerns raised with regards to ICT
    and Technology for women and followed up with the
    2nd Global in Addis Ababa in 1998.
  • We always come out with realistic and achievable
    recommendations based on the needs of our members
    and our ability to implement these programs
    around government policies and priority for
    development in Ghana. We however draws government
    attention on issues that prevents us from moving
    forward with our goals and make recommendations
    to government and other international
    institutions based on our experience on the
    ground and continued with the 3rd Global in Miami
    Dade County in 2000.
  • We have managed to work in collaboration with
    governments corporate private sector and the
    international communities to work on the modality
    for the establishment of AFWE and GAWE and to
    implement some of our vision, the first, second
    and third Global Women Entrepreneurs Trade Fairs
    and Investment Fora organized some exchange
    programs for women in the food processing sector,
    African Women entrepreneurs trip to Bangkok and
    to India for a practical hands on training in how
    to use appropriate and affordable technology to
    increase production to meet acceptable quality
    standards.

10
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATION IMPACT ON WOMEN
ENTREPRENEURS
  • These are tremendous opportunities for the
    development of export within the globalized world
    economy however, Africa aiming to enter the
    market would first have to tackle the
    technological gap that exists between them and
    developed nations, to facilitate entry of their
    products into the globalized market in the 21st
    century and beyond. Women entrepreneurs with no
    knowledge of ICT have additional challenge to
    enter the global market.
  • In the case of intra-African trade, we are so
    disadvantage because, every African country has
    its own currency which is not legal tender in
    other African countries, with the exception of
    the francophone zone in west Africa that has the
    CFA France used in all the 12 countries the
    ECOWAS region including some Central African
    countries like Cameroon and Central African
    Republic, cross boarder trading in Africa is very
    complex.
  • In order to enhance the market potential of
    members, GAWE has sort for support from the
    government of Ghana to establish an ICT centre to
    train women to move away from the traditional
    marketing and production methods, which often
    result in low productivity, and substandard
    quality and adopt new technologies which will
    enable them compete effectively in a well
    structured market. These were some of the
    recommendations from the follow ups to the first
    Global. Build the capacity of women in the use
    of technology.
  • GAWE saw traditional methods that are labor
    intensive as a result, they often generate low
    returns. Food surpluses are often wasted because
    women do not have access to technologies that
    would allow them to process and store them for
    the lean seasons

11
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATION IMPACT ON WOMEN
ENTREPRENEURS CONT.
  • We see almost 30 of food crops go waste during
    each harvest season due to lack of technology
    storage and market information as a result, women
    food producers are often displaced by big firms
    using latest technologies, and responding faster
    to request due to the use of internet services.
  • GAWE saw the need for rapid technological
    advancement in the various stages of the export
    business from production, processing, packaging
    and handling using ICT. The use of ICT for
    marketing purpose is particularly important
    because in the new global market place, products
    from everywhere are measured by the same quality
    standards and are expected to meet datelines for
    delivery. We try in order our small way to
    implement some of the strategies of the UN, AU,
    NEPAD, MDGs based on our set up vision to meet
    the needs of our members.
  • For example, it is important to respond to
    request as quickly as it is received which means
    the use of the internet is increasingly required
    and that products carry the eco-label certifying
    that their production was not ecologically
    harmful.GAWE put women in contact with the
    scientific institutions responsible for measuring
    these standards.

12
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATION IMPACT ON WOMEN
ENTREPRENEURS CONT.
  • We are encouraging successful women entrepreneurs
    to mentor other women emerging into the formal
    sector, support research for the development of
    the informal productive sector. We continent
    carry out training to enhance the skills of
    members to respond positively to market demands.
    Put research information in usable form at the
    disposal of members.
  • Women who participated in AFWE/GAWEs activities,
    at local and international level, have moved from
    informal to formal small enterprises and some
    moved from small formal enterprise to a limited
    liability companies over five years. We have on
    going training on entrepreneurial and financial
    management for members as well as the use of ICT
    for e-commerce to expand their businesses and
    markets.
  • GAWEs strategies are always focused on
    entrepreneurial approaches to build the
    capacities of women entrepreneurs, which enable
    them to do things for themselves, build their
    self esteem and gain automatic right in their
    families and the society.

13
ENTREPRENEURSHIP THE IMPACT ON WOMEN AND POVERTY
REDUCTION ON MY OWN LIFE EXPERIENCE
  • How entrepreneurship changed my life and that of
    my children and my family. I was forced by
    circumstances beyond my control to break my
    education when I was in the high school at the
    age of 17, because I was pregnant and got
    married. Within 3 years, I gave birth to 3
    children. My father was not happy and kept
    reminding me that I can still do something to
    continue with my education.
  • As I was saddled with 3 children at the age 20
    and a house wife, with no income of my own, the
    only thing I could do at home at that moment was
    to learn how to sew. I registered with Singer
    Sewing School after a long discussions and
    persuasion with my husband who did allow me to go
    through the training to become a designer and
    dressmaker.
  • At that tender age, I managed my home, my husband
    and children as well as my new career with
    enthusiasm. The idea that, I was doing something
    that was going to make me earn an income without
    falling on anybody for assistance was the driving
    force behind the amount of zeal I put into all
    that I did at the time.
  • My hours were very long, sometimes 14hrs, because
    my day start at 4.00Am hours, I prepared meals
    for the day, get the children ready before I
    leave the house at 7.00Am, return home at 6pm,
    attend to the children, my husband and when
    everybody is a sleep by 11.00pm I went through my
    home work because I could not close late as
    others do but did extra work at night after
    attending to my family, Most of the time I have
    only 3 hours of sleep.

14
ENTREPRENEURSHIP THE IMPACT ON WOMEN AND POVERTY
REDUCTION ON MY OWN LIFE EXPERIENCE CONT.
  • After 3 years with singer sewing school, I was
    made to sew a shirt. We were told that when you
    can sew a shirt with a collar and the entire
    seems must be french seem. I used my husband size
    to make the shirt and presented it to him on his
    birthday. He could not believe what he saw, he
    thought a brought it from the shop. In
    appreciation he bought me my first sewing
    machine. I made all my children dresses I stated
    sewing for friends the beginning of my sewing
    career at home.
  • This humble beginning led to the establishment of
    Lucia Fashion Spot, a very informal
    non-registered company, in 1969, employing 2
    people without knowing how I was going to pay
    them. In 1974 the company was registered as
    Lucia Manufacturing Industry as a Sole
    Proprietorship Company and gazzetted by
    government, employing 12 people. In 1981 the
    company became a limited liability company
    employing 40 people running two shifts. 20 people
    7am 3pm another 20 4pm- 8pm.
  • I can use my own experience to demonstrate how
    entrepreneurship can move you from poverty to
    prosperity, how it can build the self esteem of
    women and give them automatic right as human
    being and equality before your family and the
    society.
  • By 1981 it became a limited liability company
    with share holders. I was able to go through
    self-education in from 1974 to date, joined Ghana
    manufactures Association as it was then called
    and rose to become a council member of
    Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) as it is
    known now.

15
ENTREPRENEURSHIP THE IMPACT ON WOMEN AND POVERTY
REDUCTION ON MY OWN LIFE EXPERIENCE CONT.
  • Teenage pregnancy and early marriage did not stop
    me from building an informal company employing
    three people including myself. By 1979 I was
    employing 40 people running two shifts a day.
    Supplying our products to leading commercial
    companies in Ghana and currently we export in a
    very informal small scale. The excitement is how
    I managed an informal enterprise with 2 employer
    people to a formal company employing 20 people.
  • I am very proud to relate my entrepreneurial
    experience from 1974 to date, I have attended
    many short courses in entrepreneurship ,
    management the way it influence my empowerment as
    an Africa women in leadership program, and help
    others start their own businesses and also relate
    my experience to develop rural enterprises. I am
    very much respected and consulted by my husband,
    children my family and the community, at large.
  • I made a significant contribution to the
    education of my children, who have all past
    through the university, and I serve on church and
    government boards and commissions and own a
    consultancy company I facilitate the growth of
    informal subsistence enterprises to formal small
    registered companies.
  • Most of all, I am empowered and have automatic
    right unlike, when I had to beg my husband to
    allow me to go though the training. If I can make
    it through the circumstances I mentioned above
    without any formal bank support every other women
    can make it. Most of all I paid to participate in
    short courses that has enhanced my capacity to
    relate well to what I do.

16
MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS AND AFRICAN
ENTREPRENEURS
  • The international community made a huge step
    forward when it identified its own goals through
    the millennium Declaration which was adopted by
    the General Assembly of the United Nations on 8th
    September 2000.
  • There have been declarations before and goals set
    for development in the 1990s. But l believe the
    MDGs are different. It was an event in the
    history of the United Nations. It constituted an
    unprecedented promise by world leaders to
    address, as a single package, peace, security,
    development, human rights and fundamental
    freedoms. Yes it is different for two reasons
  • First the MDGs seem to have gained attention in
    the minds of governments, development agencies
    and the rest of the international community in a
    way that few efforts before have done.
  • Secondly, rather than single out one aspect of
    the problem, the MDGs have linked set of
    objectives-a portfolio of targets- that represent
    a coherent assault on the problem of development.
    And these goals have made the development
    practitioners and other specialists job easier.
  • We now have something clear to aim at. We can now
    ask in a more focused way What can women
    entrepreneurs in Africa do to make the MDGs meet
    the set target in Africa? What is the role of
    women entrepreneurs as part of the private sector
    in the implementation of the MDGs?
  • For the purpose of this discussion, l will like
    to numerate the eight goals that were adopted at
    the summit of heads of governments in September,
    2000.

17
MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS AND AFRICAN
ENTREPRENEURS CONT.
  • The eight goals are
  • Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger
  • Achieve Universal Primary Education
  • Promote Gender Equality and empower women
  • Reduce Child Mortality
  • Improve Maternal Health
  • Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases
  • Ensure Environmental Sustainability
  • Develop a Global Partnership for Development.
  • Because of Africas scarce resources, I will like
    to recommend that, we focus attention on three of
    the MDGs - 1, 3 8 for five years.
  • I will continue with my recommendation on how
    Africa should use its scarce resources to meet
    the MDGs before 2015. I will further suggest that
    African countries to focus their attention on
    three of the eight goals and integrate its
    activities for the next five years, in order to
    make significant progress on the issue of
    development to reduce poverty.
  • I will go on to illustrate for you to see that,
    when we focus on the 3 goals, with its integrated
    activities, it will make concrete and direct
    impact on the lives of millions of people as
    stated below, we will reduce poverty in the
    shortest possible time.

18
MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS AND AFRICAN
ENTREPRENEURS CONT.
  • These three goals when properly addressed, with
    all the seriousness it deserves, it will cut
    across the five other goals. Our leaders should
    have the political and moral will to get focused
    for once and invest heavily in the three areas in
    other to mobilize internal resources to achieve
    quick results which will have linkages to the
    other five goals.
  • Poverty can be eradicated by strong leadership in
    Africa, supported by much closer teamwork from
    donor countries, development agencies, African
    entrepreneurs in the Diasporas, private sector
    and civil society organizations. Africas
    priority is to ensure government and its leaders
    produce tangible results in its efforts to
    support the poor and vulnerable in the society.
  • At the heart of the MDGs is the understanding
    that, fighting poverty is a collective
    undertaking and that all countries have a stake
    in the results. The primary responsibility of
    achieving the Goals (MDGs), rest with developing
    countries in general and sub-Sahara African
    countries in particular where extreme poverty is
    on the increase instead of declining.
  • Private Foreign direct investment in
    agro-business will rapidly increase growth of the
    informal sector to formal sector. We appeal to
    African entrepreneurs in the diasporas to take
    the lead for others to follow by investing in
    Africa. Private sector development, including the
    development of the financial sector to deliver
    wide access to services like credit and loans, is
    an important aspect of the joint international
    efforts to support African women entrepreneurs
    and those operating in the micro, small and
    medium enterprises.
  • Finally I will like see more Regional Economic
    Communities as well private sector and civil
    society and all stakeholders, have to work
    together as a team to develop a plan of action
    that will offer a framework for support and
    expending regional and national initiatives that
    will be monitored constantly to achieve real
    program and produce truly African success stories
    as far as the MDGs is concern.

19
CONCLUSION
  • I challenge African leaders to make the required
    move to encourage Africans in the diaspora to
    make the necessary investments needed for the
    take off of the informal sector and the
    empowerment of women through entrepreneurship for
    self-employment activities, harmonizing of
    policies for effective regional economic
    activities and sea and air to facilitate regional
    trade and integration.
  • Let me emphasis that without adequate
    infrastructure to facilitate the easy movement of
    people and goods and services, and long term
    investment loans at reduced interest rate, we in
    the private sector would not be able to take
    advantage of the vast investment opportunities in
    our respective sub regions. Also, I wish to state
    that the viability of the African Union (AU) and
    its program NEPAD will depend on the following
  • -African governments to formulate policies that
    would place value as science and technology (ST)
    and research and development encourage their
    development of the continent.
  • The link between science and society in Africa is
    presently weak, with only a few citizens able to
    appreciate the value that they can derive from
    science enterprise. There are disconnections
    between activities of scientific communities and
    the overall development aspirations of most
    African countries with the net result being the
    absence of a strong science culture and
    constituencies that demanded and prompted
    scientific and technological development.
  • Extend to which the private sector are allowed to
    grow and create jobs.
  • Degree to which new improved physical
    infrastructure and telecommunications will reduce
    the cost of doing business and
  • Willingness of government and public institutions
    to transform themselves to business facilitators
    rather than barriers to private sector
    development.

20
CONCLUSION CONT.
  • Distinguished organizers of this forum, speakers
    and discussants, let me highlight that, in spite
    of the trade protocols signed in the region, our
    nations are being de-industrialized as our
    manufacturing sectors die under the yoke of high
    transactions cost, institutional failures and
    increasing bureaucratic red tape.
  • It is our hope that MDGs, which is a big
    challenge to African leaders and its people, will
    encourage us to meet the MDGs before 2015. We
    need to learn from the mistakes of similar
    efforts made in the past and focus on the
    practical issues of building entrepreneurial
    capacity of informal sector to grow and create
    jobs and alleviate poverty.
  • It has been a great pleasure and privilege to
    talk on behalf of the African Women entrepreneurs
    here today to set the tone for further
    discussions on how Africa leaders and the private
    sector will catch up with the rest of the world
    in achieving the MDGs.
  • Wearing another hat as the Executive President of
    Ghana Association of Women Entrepreneurs (GAWE),
    it is also a great privilege to be part of this
    genuinely African Studies Centre led process.
  • In conclusion, I would like to leave you with
    this thought. Some one said, if you look at the
    current situation you could argue that Africa
    missed the Green Revolution. Let those of us
    gathered here today make sure, we do not miss the
    Blue one before us now.
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