More and more women find that strategies for investing in the industrial sector – in particular in the transformation of raw materials – have long remained the prerogative of men in Africa. However, they are not numerous because this sector requires significant investments from the outset.
While African women have clearly demonstrated what they are capable of, most of them still start their own businesses with their own funds, which can be quite difficult when it comes to industrial projects for which they often also have to wear the suit of work. And when applying for funding, these entrepreneurs are often faced with the need to present their results. Furthermore, examining their business plan still too often emphasizes the value of their capital contributions. It’s a shame ! Elsewhere, for example in Europe, financial support is direct and based on the relevance of the business project.
Of course, changes have recently occurred, with initiatives such as those of the World Bank Group or those of the African Development Bank (AfDB), but financial support for women remains a major challenge, especially as those who engage in industry bring much coveted added value to what our continent possesses, the most important natural wealth that emanates from its soil and subsoil: agricultural and mineral resources.
Zlecaf as a further reason
With the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (Zlecaf), it is necessary to give more to women to implement their industrial projects, as this helps to accelerate economic and social development. To this end, African governments should prioritize the development of energy (including the energy transition) and infrastructure. If we have roads to transport industrial production across the continent, our farmers will be able to better exploit the fertility of our soils, thus allowing processors to produce more and thus increase local consumption. It is not normal that our countries are the first, the second, the third world producer of many raw materials and that the continent is still one of the poorest in the world.
Some countries, especially East Africa, have understood this and are developing true integration. This dynamic must now be generalized to enable these women who dare to put their potential to the benefit of our economies and our societies.
Entrepreneur for several decades, Jacqueline Bisimwa Murangaza is Vice-President of Africa of the Association of Women Global Business Leaders (FCEM), National President of the Association of Women Business Leaders of the Democratic Republic of Congo (ASSOFE) and President of the PEF / Platform for female entrepreneurship in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The FCEM
08 March 2022, 11:35