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Government yet to tap into women's potential: World Bank

21 November 2013, 17:47

Nairobi - Women can spur African country’s enormous potential for trade with the global market and for more intensive trade among themselves if they receive the necessary support from governments.

This is according to a new volume that the World Bank has launched in Nairobi. “Women and Trade in Africa: Realizing the Potential", demonstrates how women play a key role in trade in the continent and will be essential to Africa’s success in exploiting its trade potential.

According to World Bank officials, women make a major contribution to trade in most local countries through their involvement in the production of tradable goods as cross-border traders and as managers and owners of firms involved in trade.

Marcelo Giugale, Director, Department of Economic Policy and Poverty Reduction Programs, World Bank Africa Region, said Africa’s trade potential is undermined by constraints that women faced.

“Removing the three main obstacles to regional trade integration in Africa— misregulation, monopolies and corruption— would be particularly beneficial for poor women, as they literally carry most of the small-scale, cross-border commerce that happens within the Region. The potential benefits are huge and obvious: better food security, faster job creation, more poverty reduction, and less gender discrimination. This is a win-win-win-win reform agenda that is ready for action,” Giugale said.

Paul Brenton, Editor of the volume and World Bank Africa Trade Practice Leader, said the aim of this book was to make available new analysis on the participation of women in trade in Africa to a wide audience.

“It highlights the key role that women will play in achieving Africa’s potential in trade. In addition to raising the profile of this public policy issue, we also hope that it will encourage more research and analysis over a wider range of African countries and so extend the knowledge base,” he said.

– CAJ News



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