By Jeff Andrew Lule
WOMEN entrepreneurs in Uganda have asked government to address the issues Non-Tariff Barriers (NTB), saying they have greatly continued to hinder women’s participation in cross border trade.
Addressing Journalists at their offices in Kampala, women entrepreneurs under their umbrella body, Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Ltd (UWEAL) noted that there is need for concerted efforts to address the challenge and attract more women in cross border trade.
Christine Kyeyune, UWEAL's Chief Executive Officer, said lack of information has greatly led to exploitation by middlemen, discrimination in formulation of trade policies and harassment of women at border points.
She said because of this UWEAL has gone into a partnership with TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) to launch Women in Trade (WIT) project which they intend to use in bridging the gaps between players in Uganda's trade eco-system by linking women business member associations to policy makers and trade facilitation as well as expert service providers.
Kyeyune was flanked by TMEA country director, Allen Asiimwe.
The project is projected to cost $500,000 (about sh1.5bn) in which 4,000 women will be empowered to participate in business through capacity building, networking and advocacy.
Asiimwe said this is going to amplify the voice of women in business at national and regional levels to easily address the problems they face in cross border trade.
"We are privileged to work with other women groups like UWEAL to promote women participation in cross border trade. We hope to expand the program throughout the region, in future," he said.
The launch is expected to attract over 200 Ugandan businesswomen to examine the role women can play in regional trade, economic growth, competitiveness and ways the private sector can contribute and support women in economic leadership and trade.
UWEAL empowers Ugandan women to participate in business through capacity building, networking and advocacy, while TMEA empowers women to participate in cross border trade and regional trade.
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Non-Tariff Barriers failing cross border trade