Mrs Kate Quartey-Papafio, the Chief Executive Officer of Reroy Cables Limited, a leading manufacturer of electrical cables across the Sub-region, has called on Africa governments to support women entrepreneurs to take full advantage of economies of scale.
“This can be done through government’s encouragement of the registration of women enterprises in various free zones enclaves across Africa with specific exemptions on their inputs materials for production to reduce cost and encourage intra African trade among women owned enterprises”.
Mrs Quartey-Papafio made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency during the recent Africa Prosperity Conference held in Accra.
She spoke on the on the topic: “Women as Agents of Economic Change: Ensuring Women Can Participate and Thrive with the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA)”.
The CFTA is an instrument to rationalize trade negotiations, reduce the cost of doing business, support industrialization and stimulate cross-border infrastructure projects.
She said the CFTA provides a single economic space with harmonized trade policies and regulatory framework, free movement of goods and investments, expansion of intra-African trade and trade competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level.
Mrs Quartey-Papafio said women in industry in African countries would have to be supported through the drafting of favorable private sector development strategies and programmes to access easily raw materials from other markets within the continent.
This, she explained, would translate into shorter shipment period and lower costs of export as part of plans to integrate women industry players into the overall CFTA initiative.
The Renowned Entrepreneur said women entrepreneurs contribute significantly to the development of African economy and have been the agents of economic change since the industrial revolution in the 19th century and spearheaded economic change in countries such as India, Japan, Ghana among others.
She said African governments can also help women to benefit from CFTA through the formation of technical committees at the Metropolitan and Municipal District Assemblies level to provide advisory services on how to penetrate into other African markets with their finished products.
“This initiate will also help women to take full advantage of the CFTA at the regional, national and sub-regional levels with expert advice”.
She urged African Women Entrepreneurs to take advantage of technology and explore it’s full benefits to achieve efficiency in production.
“I encouraged frequent seminars on Information Communication Technology Seminars across the sub region to improve upon the goods and services we take onto other African markets”.
The CFTA was established in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2012 at the 18th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State of the African Union to boost Intra-Africa Trade.