The “50 Million African Women Speak” online business initiative gained momentum on Wednesday with more than 100 women in Kinango sub-county of Kwale trained on how to do business online.
Area Deputy Governor (DG) Fatuma Achani led trainers from the Council of Governors (CoG) and East African Community (EAC) in the day-long training workshop at the Kinango Methodist Church Multipurpose Hall where women from Kinango, Puma and Ndavaya wards benefited.
Achani said sub-county, ward, and village administrators together with county social workers will be trained to be able to train women from Mwavumbo, Kasemeni and MacKinnon-Road wards and those who did not attend Wednesday’s session.
She said potential female digital entrepreneurs in Africa cannot get businesses up and running unless they have the necessary skills required saying it is essential to first identify those needs then deliver them through structured training.
It was the second day of such training, the first taking place at the Ukunda showground in Msambweni sub-county.
Under the initiative, women will register their businesses online on the platform to access market information and opportunities on the local, regional and African catchment for their products of all kinds.
The platform which is accessed through www.womenconnect.org or downloaded on SOMAWSP is a one-stop shop for business and information.
The initiative is sponsored by African Development Bank (ADB) and in Kenya it is operational only in counties with a female Governor or Deputy, and in 38 countries in Africa.
Achani said, “This is a God-sent opportunity for Kwale women. I ask them to come out in large numbers and take advantage to register online businesses and benefit like other women in Kenya and Africa. A woman does not have to be educated to take part in the initiative”.
The DG said e-commerce has the potential to level the economic playing field for women in developing countries and urged the private sector to team up with the public sector to ensure women’s digital access.
She said e-commerce should be considered one of the driving forces in women’s economic empowerment.
She said county officials will be mobilised to effectively train members of women groups on the logistics to do business.
A representative from EAC Jesca Kiplagat said women in Kenya “who were marginalised before, have now woken up” and asked Kwale women not to be left behind.
She said the digital platform is intended to empower millions of women in Africa to start, grow, and scale-up businesses by providing a one-stop-shop for their specific information needs.
It will also facilitate access to training, business management tools and financing options specifically targeted to women.
Ms Kiplagat said the expected outcome is to directly impact 50 million African women and create fair waged jobs for young people from the increased business activities and capital flow.
Achani said when Governor Salim Mvurya and she took reign of leadership in 2013 and 2017, they promised to better the lives of Kwale people through various initiatives.
“We are out to do exactly that, and this ’50 Million African Women Speak’s initiative is an example. We are up to the task and we shall deliver,” she said adding that bursaries, modern ECD centers, health facilities, roads, Women Fund, and a host of other grassroots programs serve as testimony for a county government that is serious in service delivery to its people.
The Platform gives access in Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media accessibility and offers self-explanatory information one needs to register, engage, and do business.
By Hussein Abdullahi