Maryam Katagum, minister of state for industry, trade and investment has asked banks to set up gender desks to encourage potential women borrowers.
The Minister who was represented by Suleiman Audu, director of commodity and export department, at the second series of the African Women Trade Conference 2022, added that more women should be encouraged to go into technically oriented Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields to pioneer inclusive innovations.
“Preparation for gender inclusion in national AfCFTA strategies and policies. Companies have to invest in women directly by integrating gender policies and practices with global diversity.
“Banks should set up gender desks with a view to going the extra mile in identifying and prioritising targets of potential women borrowers as a platform for ascertaining and providing financial empowerment from African Development Bank to support women-led Farmers Based Associations and MSMEs to promote agriculture in certain African countries.
“Greater efforts need to be made to provide women with access to technical education and on-the-job training.
“Targeted entrepreneurship training can help women entrepreneurs grasp the opportunities that open markets create and calibrate their businesses toward those opportunities through creativity and innovation.
“With the launch of trading under the ACFTA in January 2021, the expectations are high as relates to the expanded business prospects for women-led businesses, which will unlock the potential for African women to grow their businesses from micro to macro enterprises.”