ITC, Shetrades Hubs in Africa Connect Women Entrepreneurs to UK and Regional Buyers

ITC, Shetrades Hubs in Africa Connect Women Entrepreneurs to UK and Regional Buyers
ITC, Shetrades Hubs in Africa Connect Women Entrepreneurs to UK and Regional Buyers

Africa-Press – Gambia. From 18 – 21 June, the International Trade Centre (ITC) is organizing a trade mission to Nairobi, Kenya, on the sidelines of the Absa InspireMe Conference, to build new business linkages and expand economic opportunities for women-led businesses from across the continent and the United Kingdom (UK).

This event is part of the ITC SheTrades Commonwealth+ Programme, which is funded by the UK Government.

In collaboration with Absa Bank Kenya, host institution of the SheTrades Kenya Hub, ITC is supporting 10 UK-based buyers and three chamber of commerce representatives, 17 representatives from large corporations in Africa, and 65 women entrepreneurs from the delegations of SheTrades Hubs in Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, the Gambia, and South Africa, to attend the Absa InspireMe Conference.

The opening day of the hybrid Absa InspireMe Conference featured a welcome message from First Lady of the Republic of Kenya, H.E. Mrs. Rachel Ruto and Absa Bank Kenya Managing Director and Chief Executive Director, Mr. Abdi Mohamed.

Following the grand opening, a number of panel sessions focused on key topics across women’s entrepreneurial and export development: accessing finance, navigating the digital marketplace and leveraging the African Continental Free Trade Area.

UK Regional Trade Advisor for East Africa, Mr. Jamal Hussain also delivered a presentation on export opportunities available through the UK’s Developing Countries Trading Scheme and Economic Partnership Agreements.

Concurrent to the Absa InspireMe Conference and as part of the trade mission, select women-led businesses from the agrifood, textiles and apparel, handicrafts, and accessories sector will participate in a series of one-to-one business meetings with potential buyers from the UK delegation and African corporations on the second day of the event.

Representatives from participating SheTrades Hubs will also discuss potential collaboration with the three participating UK delegates from the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chamber International, and West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The final day includes sector-specific field visits to Kenyan companies in the relevant sectors for conference participants and one-to-one company sites for the African and UK buyers to further explore business opportunities with Kenyan women-led businesses.

“We are delighted to host the Absa InspireMe Conference 2024. This trade mission presents a unique opportunity to build strong relationships within this exciting market, the region, and the UK. At Absa, we are committed to facilitating access and providing valuable insights for our customers, both new and existing, across the globe. I am excited to witness the connections and collaborations that will emerge over the coming days,” said Abdi Mohamed, Absa Bank Kenya, Managing Director.

ITC Executive Director Pamela Coke-Hamilton said: “At ITC, we work to deliver concrete results for women in trade. Our collaboration with the SheTrades Hubs and the Absa InspireMe Conference is providing fertile ground for women entrepreneurs to strike business deals with corporations from across the continent and the United Kingdom.”

“I am grateful for ITC, in bringing together businesses from seven different countries in Africa, this trade mission is a great opportunity for UK and African companies to expand their business horizons together. I with other delegates look forward to meeting with women entrepreneurs from across the continent and to secure long term business. This is a rare opportunity to have seven countries in one location, I am sure this will be the start of strengthening relations between the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the participating SheTrades Hubs host institutions,” remarked Dr. Nasir Awan, President of the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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