Minister of Trade and Industry and Executive Director of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA) Nevine Gamea said targeting African markets is a major axis in MSMEDA’s action plan for expanding in trade exchange on small enterprises, particularly, among member states of Common Market for East and South Africa (COMESA). This trade exchange, Gamea added, aims at exploiting raw materials available within these countries to help small enterprises come up with highly competitive products.
Gamea also stated that women largely benefit from such trade exchange, namely, through the launch of the 50 Million African Women Speak (50MAWS) Platform encompassing more than 38 African states members in Common Market for East and South Africa (COMESA), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and East African Community (EAC).
This came on the occasion of COMESA’s announcement that Egypt ranks first among the COMESA member states in terms of the Platform users according to the recent statistics conducted from July 2019 to April 2022. The Platform users in Egypt have soared up to 44 thousand.
The Minister also indicated that since the 50MAWS launch, action is underway to activate trade and industrial communication among millions of African women entrepreneurs to familiarize with opportunities available in each state, requirements for products, goods and raw material and the relevant procedures to be taken, in addition to contact agencies. This indeed soothes trade movements among these states on one hand, and enables women entrepreneurs to expand and grow their businesses and access foreign markets on the other.
Gamea pointed out to Egyptian businesswomen’s growing interest in benefiting from the Platform and explained that this will inevitably upgrade their potential for integration in African markets.
Head of MSMEDA’s Technical Bureau Sally Seada explained that MSMEDA is the national entity entrusted with the Platform content Management in Egypt under the Gender Unit affiliated to MSMEDA’s Technical Bureau. Seada added that the Technical Bureau coordinates between the Platform Management within COMESA, and members of the team that has been established in which several national gender-related entities are represented to develop and update the content. These include without limitations, Central Bank of Egypt, Ministry of Trade and Industry, National Council for Women, Ministry of Social Solidarity, besides other institutions, associations and NGOs engaged in gender equality. Head of MSMEDA’s Technical Bureau also noted that the Platform content has been translated into Arabic so that thousands of Egyptian women entrepreneurs can use it and benefit easily from the services it offers.