CIBITOKE / NGOZI July 26th (ABP) – A four-day training workshop on leadership and coaching was organized in Cibitoke and Ngozi provinces by the Burundi Repatriated Women’s Association (AFRABU), in collaboration with the NGO Partner Africa, for associations of women doing cross-border trade.
In Cibitoke province, according to the consultant facilitator of those sessions, Mrs. Monique Kayibanda, as part of the training planned for those women living following petty cross-border trade, the training was the 5th and was focused on leadership and coaching. It was about coaching them to be leaders and grow in spirit so that they become leaders in their society, women who like to work to achieve long-term development, she said.
The four previous training courses, the first of which focused on the formation of associations and their functioning, which resulted in the formation of four associations of women doing cross-border trade; the second focused on gender and equity and those women have been trained to take charge of themselves, to consider themselves, to fight for their rights, to empower themselves, both economically and socially. The third training was on positive masculinity for those women and their husbands together for the consideration of a family as an association where each of the two keeps his/her role but also help each other so that the man does not consider to be the only one responsible, but that the woman considers that she has a great training for the development of her family. The 4th preceding that last was on learning entrepreneurship, savings and loan management, embarking on income-generating activities despite not crossing the borders for their usual trade, but so that they can do activities at the local level while waiting for the borders to open, the same source revealed to a check by ABP.
As for the participants, Mrs. Domithile Barutwanayo, who is representative of one of the four associations, testified to their satisfaction with the training. She reported having learned how to progress together gradually to surely achieve their goal of becoming a cooperative.
In Ngozi province, according to the advisor to the minister responsible for Gender, Mr. Sylvestre Negamiye, that workshop aimed to list the major challenges facing businesswomen engaged in imports and exports.
After having inventoried those challenges, the government and the partners will have to work together on the solutions to put forward to facilitate cross-border trade made by women.
During the workshop, the participants revealed the main challenges. It is about insufficient capital. Here, businesswomen even complain that the banks remain reluctant to grant loans to women, especially since they do not even have mortgage guarantees to give to the banks. The other challenge is the gender-based violence inflicted on businesswomen at border crossings and other places.
The participants also cited a lack of computer knowledge which limits women in the use of new information and communication technologies.
Finally, businesswomen complained about the poor knowledge of the international languages in use in the sub-region, namely English, French and Swahili.
The advisor to the Ministry in charge of Solidarity promised that the government and its partners will have to react once the consultant will have delivered his final report on the challenges and opportunities for improving cross-border trade made by women.
That workshop was attended by women traders from the provinces of Ngozi, Kayanza, Kirundo, Muyinga and Gitega.