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Ghana: Women-led businesses under AfCFTA to receive 10% subsidized interest rate

Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mamuda Osman has stated that women led businesses in the country seeking to export under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will receive bank loans with a subsidized interest rate of 10 percent.

He highlighted that this initiative is part of the government’s commitment to bolstering women in business, aiming to facilitate their entry into the continental market through exports.

Delivering a keynote address at the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce/GIZ Trade Hub conference for GNCCI Women in Kumasi, Mr. Mamuda added that there are certain protocols reserved for women which the next Africa Union (AU) meeting will ensure are adopted.

“The AfCFTA agreement recognises the important role that women-led business play, and the challenges most of these women face in their day-to-day activities. Therefore, a special protocol has been created for Women and Youth-led businesses that has been negotiated to facilitate trade for women and youth. It will be adopted in the next AU meeting for operationalisation,” he said.

Furthermore, he assured participants of ongoing government support, emphasizing that 200 companies nationwide, with a focus on those led by women, have been specifically selected to receive hands-on support under the agreement.

Mr. Mamuda holds the belief that in this era of intense competition, marked by elements of globalization and liberalization, enterprises must aim for excellence. He emphasizes the importance of developing core competencies and confidence, enabling them to compete more effectively in both the continental and global marketplace.

“Their role is vital, because advances in economic development require business activities exhibiting both dynamism and stability – which are characteristic of successful women entrepreneurs in Ghana. Above all, it is important to recognize that the success of one female-owned business has a positive bearing to the success of many other lives.

“It is therefore worth the call for a deliberate effort to include women in making AfCFTA work. This, I believe, will have a strong positive impact on our country’s socio-economic development. This is because successful women-led businesses can help reduce female dropouts in school and women’s over-reliance on men for daily survival,” he emphasized.

In a speech, Victoria Hajar, the first Vice President of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industries (GNCCI), highlighted the importance of prioritizing inclusivity and sustainable socio-economic development for realizing the full benefits of increased intra-African trade under the AfCFTA.

Acknowledging persistent challenges faced by women in business, including limited access to education, production resources, trade information, and discrimination, Victoria Hajar emphasized that the AfCFTA presents significant potential to harness the strength of women.

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