Uganda to host 3rd COMESA Business Women’s Trade Fair in August

Uganda, through the Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Ltd (UWEALS) and the Ministry of Trade and Cooperatives, will host the 3rd Trade Fair of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) of the Federation of national associations of women in business (COMFWB).

The trade fair will run from August 24-26, under the theme: Businesswoman Incubators Advance Regional Trade.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Sarah Kitakule, acting chair of the UWEAL board, said the show aims to attract more than 10,000 businesswomen.

“The Intra-Trade Fair will be recurring in Uganda after 21 years, so it is a great privilege to host it this year, it will seek to attract over 10,000 women and men who ran Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs ) and leading companies from more than 35 countries around the world, purposefully networking business-to-business interfaces for connecting and exchanging good business ideas and opportunities,” she said.

She noted that the main objective of the fair is to provide a conducive and dynamic platform for African women and men, during their stay in Uganda, to “trade, explore potential opportunities, market and create strong value chains with traders around the world”.

“The fair and exhibition aims to provide a platform for policy dialogue on strategies to overcome barriers that prevent women and young entrepreneurs from maximizing regional and cross-border trade opportunities. The trade fair also aims to provide a platform for the business community (including women and youth) to showcase their products and services,” Kitakule said.

Speaking to the same presser, Connie Kekihembo, CEO of UWEAL, said COMFWB will be hosting business clinic briefings at the show that will familiarize attendees with business issues, business registration, quality standards and much more. sessions for women entrepreneurs.

“The current results show that 64% of female-led businesses said their business operations were significantly affected, compared to 52% of male-led businesses due to COVID-19. Uganda shows that the majority of ranked women have gone out of business due to lack of trade and market information (83%), lack of competitive advantage (80%), cost high business skills (78%), poor business management skills (764%). ), poor knowledge of import and export requirements (71%), inappropriate policies and regulatory environment (70.1%), as well as non-tariff and tariff barriers,” said Kekihembo.

Despite the obstacles, Kekihembo said, many women entrepreneurs have continued to operate their respective businesses and the majority have strived against the odds through business incubators.

“Empowering women economically means equipping them with a set of skills, access to regional, international and local markets. This allows them to increase their sustainable incomes, thereby contributing financially to their households, their communities and the nation as a whole,” she said.

According to the organizers, the fair will integrate business conference syndicates on topical discussions, including; Women’s incubators advancing regional trade, the role of financial institutions, positioning, participation of women in the African Continental Free Trade Area and business clinic, with the aim of supporting the business community at all levels.

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