Women In Business News Updates 2020

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New programme aimed at women-led businesses launches

The leading independent pan-African banking group, Ecobank Group has launched a programme called Ellevate. The new programme is targetted at women-owned and women-focused businesses operating across multiple markets in Africa. Ellevate aims to encourage women to grow their businesses through customised financial solutions with added value. in an official press release , Josephine Anan-Ankomah, Group Executive for Commercial Banking at Ecobank Transnational incorporated, explains that Ellevate assists women-led businesses with reaching their potential. in developing Ellevate, we made time to understand the needs of women, what they really require from their bankers, and came up with practical solutions that will help bridge the identified gaps. Ellevate is an end-to-end comprehensive product suite that supports women-owned and women-focused businesses with differentiated business solutions that will unleash their potential. The Ellevate programme gives women-owned and women-focused businesses the opportunity to grow in the business ecosystem by making use of the financial and practical solutions offered through Ellevate. women-led Economy Africa is reported to have the highest number of women entrepreneurs in the world with roughly half of Africas population being women. Reportedly, small to medium enterprises make up 90% of Africas businesses, and women own about one-third of all registered SMEs in Africa. One in four African adult females initiates or manages a business. Myriam Dossou-D Almeida, Minister of Grassroots Development, Youth and Youth Employment, Republic of Togo, comments that women are the driving force of economic development and inclusivity remains at the forefront of the Ellevate programme. The Government recognises the contribution women are making to the socio-economic development of Africa. We believe women are the catalyst for change and prosperity. The Government of Togo continues to develop and implement policies and programmes that will promote the economic empowerment of women of all ages and social status. Togolese women have always played a critical role in the economy. We are pleased to see that the Ecobank Group, through the Ellevate programme, offers to women an opportunity to take their rightful place in the economic development of our country and indeed across the continent. We will work with the private sector to tap into this great potential of African women and create inclusive business opportunities. The women-led Economy represents a large portion of the market that is noticeably untapped. Ecobanks launch of the Ellevate programme aims to contribute to economic development as well as strengthen financial integration within Africa by investing in women. Graa Machel, Founder of Graa Machel Trust and, Foundation for Community Development explains that financial institutions who are shifting to support women-led businesses in Africa will also benefit from the investment in the economy. The empowerment of women is not only a developmental issue. It is very much an economic issue. Financial institutions that recognise the changes that are happening globally and are taking steps to ensure that they are participating in this emerging market, will more fully reap the economic benefit of their investment. A collaboration between the Government and the Private sector is encouraged to ensure a healthy environment for women to thrive and succeed in. Anan-Ankomah comments that the Ecobank Group acknowledges the strategic importance, needs, and support required for women to reach their full potential. Ellevate by Ecobank is designed for businesses owned by women, managed by women, businesses with a high percentage of female board members or employees, and companies that manufacture products for women. These businesses will benefit from smarter cash management solutions, favourable lending rates, and value-added services such as leadership training and networking opportunities. All these will ensure that their businesses can scale and remain sustainable. We intend to allocate 10 percent of our Commercial Banking loan portfolio to help bridge the financing gap.

dec 3 2020 6:13pm
newsarticle News : Startups
Bill on GBV, Femicide Council goes to Parliament

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that government is in the process of drafting a Bill on the Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) Council, which is expected to be in Parliament early next year. I consider the establishment of this Council, which is part of the Declaration on Gender-Based Violence in 2019, to be critical in the implementation of the National Strategic Plan, President Ramaphosa said. President Ramaphosa was speaking during a virtual dialogue to mark the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against women and Children campaign, held on Wednesday. This years 16 Days campaign will be observed under the theme womens Economic Justice for a Non-Violent and Non-Sexist South Africa. The President called for an urgent need to address the poverty, exclusion and economic marginalisation facing millions of women. He said that advancing womens economic empowerment is fundamentally tied to the Constitutional right to dignity, and that empowering women financially gives them greater control over their lives. As part of this effort, earlier this year we announced that South Africa will be setting aside 40% of all public procurement for women-owned enterprises. A National Procurement Task Team has been set up to drive this process. It is already rolling out capacity-building programmes to prospective beneficiaries to ensure women business owners are equipped to participate in public procurement, President Ramaphosa said. Supporting women-owned businesses As part of the Economic Recovery and Reconstruction Plan, the President said government is increasing its support to women-owned small, medium and micro enterprises to enable them to benefit from, among other things, the infrastructure development programme and opportunities in manufacturing, agriculture and tourism. The President stressed that supporting women-owned businesses is crucial, if we are to take full advantage of the opportunities arising from the African Continental Free Trade Area when it comes into operation early next year. We are going to ensure that women benefit from governments land reform programme and have more access to land that they can use to produce food and goods. We are going to improve womens economic participation through the Presidential Employment Stimulus programmes, announced as part of the Reconstruction and Recovery Plan. Recruitment has already begun for a number of these programmes, which range from education support to early childhood development, to home based care, to the Expanded Public Works Programme, President Ramaphosa said. The President also emphasised a need for business to provide greater support to women-owned businesses, through supplier development, mentorship, training and financial assistance. He said that government is engaging with the financial services sector to provide financial products that respond to the needs of women, whether its related to banking costs, finance support or access to credit lines. Violence against women is not a womens problem President Ramaphosa further challenged men to take responsibility at a personal level for the protection of the women and children, reiterating that violence against women is not a womens problem, but a mens problem. It is men who can challenge harmful cultural and social practices that undermine womens rights. It is men who can and must refuse to be part of criminal gangs that assault and rape women. It is men who can and must take responsibility for their own personal behaviour and understand that coercing a woman to have sex is rape, and that no means no. It is men who must raise their sons to understand that women and men are equal, and lead by example. It is men who must repudiate the idea that a man must prove his manhood by abusing a woman. It is men who after being convicted and sentenced for violence can seek rehabilitation and not offend again. As men, we must say no. No, domestic violence is a not a private family matter. No, we do not have the right to discipline our children with violence. No, a woman is not inviting rape or sexual assault because of her personal life choices, where she chooses to socialise or how she dresses, the President said. It starts with accountability, Musida Meanwhile, Miss South Africa Shudufhadzo Musida highlighted a need for a collective responsibility within society towards the fight against the scourge of GBVF. It [GBVF] needs to be dismantled. We cant exclude certain members of our society from this conversation...it starts with accountability, Musida said. From Wednesday, the national flag has been flying at half-mast across the country in memory of the countrymen and women who lost their lives to COVID-19 and gender-based violence.

nov 26 2020 6:11pm
President Ramaphosa to lead SA delegation at BRICS summit

President Cyril Ramaphosa will lead the South African delegation at the virtual 12th BRICS Summit scheduled for Tuesday. BRICS is an association of five major emerging countries, Brazil, Russia, india, China and South Africa, which together represent about 42% of the global population, 23% of GDP, 30% of the worlds territory and 18% of global trade. Russian President Vladimir Putin, as Chair of BRICS for 2020, will chair the 12th BRICS Summit under the theme: BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and innovative Growth. The programme will include the traditional open Leaders Session where the heads of member states will address the summit with the aim to contribute to the future direction of BRICS. Leaders will be focused on strengthening intra-BRICS relations and mutually beneficial cooperation across the BRICS pillars of cooperation, namely, political and security, economic and finance, social, and people-to-people cooperation. The summit will receive reports from the BRICS National Security Advisors, the BRICS Business Council, the President of the New Development Bank (NDB), the Chair of the BRICS inter-Bank Cooperation Mechanism; and the Chair of the BRICS womens Business Alliance, said the Presidency on Monday. For this years summit, some of the cooperation outcomes include the adoption of a revised strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership (2020-2025); the adoption of the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Strategy; the extension of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Competition Law and Policy. in addition, other cooperation outcomes include the first projects of the BRICS Energy Research Cooperation Platform; an Agreement on Cooperation on BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation; the adoption of a Roadmap for BRICS Energy Cooperation; and the launch of the BRICS womens Business Alliance. South Africas membership of BRICS enables the country to employ additional and powerful tools in its fight to address the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality through increased trade, investment, tourism, capacity building, skills and technology transfers. South Africa has made concerted efforts to place the African Continent and the Global South on the agenda of BRICS and to harmonise policies adopted in regional and international fora with those pursued in BRICS, i.e. Africas Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. President Ramaphosa will be supported by international Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor; Finance Minister Tito Mboweni; State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo; Trade industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel and Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize. The meeting of the leaders of BRICS countries will be fully open to the media and live broadcasts can be accessed at the official website of the Russian BRICS Chairmanship in 2020 https://brics-russia2020.ru/ both in Russian and English. The 12th BRICS summit is scheduled for 13h00-15h00 (SA Time) / 14h00-16h00 (Moscow time).

nov 17 2020 6:30pm
President Cyril Ramaphosa participates in virtual 12th BRICS summit, 17 Nov

President Cyril Ramaphosa will lead the South African delegation during his participation in the virtual 12th BRICS Summit scheduled for 17 November 2020.BRICS is an association of five major emerging countries, Brazil, Russia, india, China and South Africa, which together represent about 42% of the global population, 23% of GDP, 30% of the worlds territory and 18% of global trade.The 12th BRICS Summit will be chaired by President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation, as Chair of BRICS for 2020, under the theme: BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and innovative Growth.The programme will include the traditional open Leaders Session where the heads of member states will address the Summit with the aim to contribute to the future direction of BRICS. Leaders will be focused on strengthening intra-BRICS relations and mutually beneficial cooperation across the BRICS pillars of cooperation, namely, political and security, economic and finance, social, and people-to-people cooperation. The Summit will receive reports from the BRICS National Security Advisors, the BRICS Business Council, the President of the New Development Bank (NDB), the Chair of the BRICS inter-Bank Cooperation Mechanism; and the Chair of the BRICS womens Business Alliance.For this years Summit, some of the cooperation outcomes include the adoption of a revised Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership (2020-2025); the adoption of the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Strategy; the extension of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Competition Law and Policy; the first projects of the BRICS Energy Research Cooperation Platform; an Agreement on Cooperation on BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation; the adoption of a Roadmap for BRICS Energy Cooperation; and the Launch of the BRICS womens Business Alliance.South Africas membership of BRICS enables the country to employ additional and powerful tools in its fight to address the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality through increased trade, investment, tourism, capacity building, skills and technology transfers.South Africa has made concerted efforts to place the African Continent and the Global South on the agenda of BRICS and to harmonise policies adopted in regional and international fora with those pursued in BRICS, i.e. Africas Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.President Ramaphosa will be supported by Dr Naledi Pandor, Minister of international Relations and Cooperation; Mr Tito Mboweni, Minister of Finance; Ms Ayanda Dlodlo, Minister of State Security; Mr Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Trade, industry and Competition; and Dr Zwelini Mkhize, Minister of Health.The meeting of the Leaders of BRICS Countries will be fully open to the media and live broadcasts can be accessed at the official website of the Russian BRICS Chairmanship in 2020 https://brics-russia2020.ru/ both in Russian and English.The 12th BRICS summit is scheduled for 13h00-15h00 (SA Time) / 14h00-16h00 (Moscow time)Media enquiries:Tyrone Seale, Acting Spokesperson to the President [email protected]

nov 17 2020 6:30pm
event News : Govt
Kenya women mentorship platform Twaa announces a strategic partnership with Bureau Veritas

Share Twaa is a female-driven mentorship site supporting women business people across Africa with leadership skills. Through the partnership with Bureau Veritas, TWAA aims to equip women with the right set of digital skills. Bureau Veritas is the global leader in testing, inspections, and certifications. They announced a BV women in Africa Mentorship Program which is a strategic partnership between TWAA the innovative disruptive professional networking platform and mentorship platform for young girls. During the launch, Marc Roussel who is the President of Government Services international Trade Senior Vice President for Africa said, "The Bureau Veritas Group operates in several countries across Africa. The organization has a very strong ethos on gender balance and women empowerment." Nairobi's elected women Representative Esther Passaris delivered comments saying, " A lot of women will come together on this platform and they will meet people of like mind. I think in terms of opportunities, let's not feel guilty as women because this is a woman's platform. We needed something like this, a safe and sincere space ." TWAA's founder Irene Kiwia said, " This platform was built to help organizations with a strong women empowerment agenda such as Bureau Veritas accomplish their goals by providing a platform to engage, connect, mobilize and impact their women communities through mentorship, knowledge sharing and access to opportunitie s." TWAA in swahili translates to lead and involves targeting and promoting startups that are led by women in adopting the technology. Source : CIO East Africa Share

nov 7 2020 9:05am
newsarticle News : Startups