ADDIS ABABA (HAN) May 20.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. BY ABEBE WOLDEGIORGIS. Women contribution to socioeconomic progress is immense and among others their entrepreneurial and business skills which benefit the society can be mentioned. They engaged in local and international trade as well. Hence, to promote the value of women entrepreneurs, networking them with their regional counterpart is essential.

Briefing journalists last Tuesday here in the capital, the Ethiopian Women Entrepreneurs Association President Engidaye Eshete said that member states women entrepreneurs associations will establish a platform in the coming Saturday in Addis Ababa in order to advance women entrepreneurs and traders interest at the regional level with the cooperation of Inter Governmental Authority Development (IGAD) Women Affairs Department. According to Engidaye after intensive negotiations between member states association for the last four years in Djibouti, Khartoum, Kampala and Nairobi they agreed to change their dreams into reality.

She further said that the platform will have its own secretariat, head office and budget and for that the necessary preparation has been made. It also established its own working rules and regulation. She further said that the establishment of the platform helps them to create market connection and eliminate double taxation between the member countries. Currently in Ethiopia 35 per cent of trade and business is carried out by women and many of them are engaged in export and import trading, thus, the regional trade integration benefit the member associations a lot. According to Engidaye, in the horn African countries the apparent economic growth stimulate regional trade and as a result women and countries at large could benefit a lot.

She also said that as a populous nation in the horn, Ethiopia has high market potential where commodities can be produced and consumed thereby attracting foreign investment, facilitate trade and investment which would help in job creation and poverty reduction.

Asked weather the Ethiopian Women Entrepreneurial Association has a working cooperation with the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce or not she said that it has

good relation and through the cooperation women entrepreneurs has received capacity building training. In doing so, it has good relation with universities to enhance the members knowledge and skills. In addition, the Association provides different benefits to the members. The Association has 939 branch offices at grassroots level in all states across the country with 185,000 individual members. The Association President also said that the relentless support provided by the government helped it a lot in getting recognition in the member countries.



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