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Multinational - Appraisal Report - 50 Million African Women Speak Networking Platform Project
As a continent, Africa has high rates of entrepreneurship generally, with many countries having almost equal participation between men and women. Nevertheless, women business owners continue to face gender-specific barriers such as lower levels of education and business training, weak property rights that deprive them of collateral and tangible assets, legal barriers that impede their economic activities and cultural barriers that discourage women from thriving as entrepreneurs. The consequence is that women have challenges accessing financial and non-financial services and so the size and growth of their businesses suffer. ICT prospectively can help to alleviate some of these challenges. Consequently, the 50 Million Women Speak project will create a dynamic networking platform for women entrepreneurs, connecting them with one another in ways that will foster peer-to-peer learning, mentoring and the sharing of information and knowledge within communities, and provide them with access to trade finance and market opportunities between urban and rural areas, and across borders and between countries.The project will be implemented within a period of three (3) years starting from 2017. The total estimated cost of the project is UA 9.8million comprising UA 8.82 million ADF grant to COMESA, ECOWAS and EAC; and UA 0.98million will be the RECs in-kind contribution.The project is expected to benefit women entrepreneurs all across Africa.