By Mariatou Ngum
Information Officer, MoTIE
Hon Baboucarr Ousmaila Joof, the Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment (MoTIE), on Monday, September 11, 2023, handed over equipment worth about D2 million to members of the SheTrades Hub in a ceremony held at the Ministry’s ground in Banjul.
The donation is funded by the Enhanced Integrated Framework Sustainability Support Project for Trade Development (EIF SSP) to empower women-led businesses in the country.
21 Women entrepreneurs from the horticulture and fashion sectors received a range of equipment that includes Single Needle Chain Stitch Machines, Buttonhole Machines, Embroidery Machines, Cover Stitch Sewing Machines, Industrial Machines, Sewing Machines, Grinding Machines, Dehydrators, Automated Packaging Machines, Solar Dryers, Stainless Metal Mixers among others.
About SheTrades Hub
The SheTrades HUB is a programme anchored at the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration, and Employment under the Trade Directorate it is an initiative of ITC and it is meant to provide support for women in business, providing a dedicated programmeplatform that fosters growth, innovation, employment, and networking opportunities.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony, Minister Joof informed the beneficiaries that this is the first batch of equipment that they are handing over to 21 outstanding entrepreneurs, with an additional 17 entrepreneurs set to receive their equipment by the end of September 2023 at a tune of three million dalasis.
According to him, this equipment represented a critical step forward in their mission to provide tangible support to the horticulture and fashion sectors that showcase the incredible potential of women entrepreneurs.
For our fashion entrepreneurs, he said, the tools donated to them will not only enhance their craftsmanship but also expand their capacity to create high-quality garments that stand out in a competitive market. In the horticulture sector, he added, the machines donated to them will revolutionize their operations, allowing for increased efficiency, product quality, and market access.
“My Ministry extends its heartfelt gratitude to the generous funder of this equipment, EIF SSP. Their commitment to supporting women-led businesses is commendable, and their partnership in this endeavor has been instrumental in making this initiative a reality. Together, we are fostering economic growth, equality, and empowerment,” Minister commended the EIF SSP.
The Trade Minister affirmed that this initiative is a testament to the government’s enduring commitment to championing gender equality and creating a level playing field for all entrepreneurs. “We believe that when women succeed, our entire nation prospers and wins,” he said while encouraging the beneficiaries to harness the power of these tools to reach new heights of success.
However, Minister Joof reiterated his Ministry’s dedication to women-led businesses and the broader vision of an inclusive, prosperous future. “Together, we are building a nation where every entrepreneur, regardless of gender, has the opportunity to thrive,” he concluded.
The beneficiaries took turns to take the EIF SSP through the Ministry of Trade for laudable support while assuring that the equipment would be put to good use.