BUJUMBURA May 30th (ABP) – The Ministry of Trade, Transport, Industry and Tourism, in collaboration with the Delegation of the European Union in Burundi, proceeded on Friday, May 27, 2022 in Bujumbura, to the official launch of the project “Support for women entrepreneurs in the agribusiness (fruit, coffee) and handicraft sectors”, which will be implemented by the AVSI Consortium / Kaz’o’zah keza in the provinces of Bujumbura mairie, Bubanza, Gitega, Kayanza and Ngozi.
The Director General of Handicrafts at the Ministry of Trade, Transport, Industry and Tourism, Mr. Pascal Barutwanayo, who had represented the Minister, said that the said project stems from a real need, that of empowering women, especially rural women, through their integration into a profession that can make them more independent in the life of their households and in the community.
According to him, this project solves the major challenges facing women entrepreneurs in rural areas, including access to loan and the market.
Mr. Barutwanayo also specified that activities will be carried out in favor of women’s groups who are and who will be engaged in the crucial stages of the value chain. According to him, the intervention of the project will enable women to contribute to the economic development of the target provinces. For this reason, he indicated that the ministry in charge of trade has agreed to establish a partnership framework with the AVSI Consortium / Kaz’o’zah keza, for a participatory, harmonious, effective and efficient implementation of the project. According to him, the ministry is satisfied with the launch of this project, which is consistent with the missions of the Ministry of Commerce, including raising awareness among craftsmen to group together in craft cooperatives with a view to improving access to financing for businesses, micro-enterprises and especially income-generating activities (IGAs) for young people and women.
The Ambassador of the European Union Claude Bochu, in turn, indicated that this project is among the interventions provided for in the new action plan on equality between men and women (GAPIII 2021-202) of Burundi which is based on six areas of thematic engagement. He cited ensuring the absence of all forms of gender-based violence, promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights, strengthening economic and social rights and ensuring the empowerment of girls and women, fostering participation and equal leadership, integrating the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda.
According to Bochu, the main objective of that project is to strengthen gender equality and economic development in Burundi. It also has the specific objectives of strengthening the entrepreneurial and technical capacity related to the production, processing, marketing of the products of micro and small women’s enterprises, individual and collective, improving access to financing for women’s enterprises and micro-enterprises, strengthening the participation of civil society in the promotion of gender equity and in particular in the economic empowerment of Burundian women.
According to the legal representative of Kaz’o’zah keza Mrs. Ange Muyumbira, the project is funded by the European Union to the amount of 1,111,282.74 euros, for a two-year period (2022-2024). She added that the project will target 40 associations or cooperatives of producers, 10 small and medium-sized enterprises in the field of processing and marketing, 50 young women sales agents, 250 vulnerable women micro-entrepreneurs, 3 local women’s civil society organizations, as well as 5,000 people benefiting from gender equality initiatives. She specified that the beneficiaries of the project will be selected by the AVSI Consortium and Kaz’o’zah keza in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce and the local administration.