Weighty testimonies this Wednesday for the 40th Midi de la microfinance de la microfinance at Ada, which gave the floor to three African women, entrepreneurs and community finance players. An encouraging message on the role of women in the world of African entrepreneurship.

The place of women in African entrepreneurship remains a sensitive subject because of the place of women per se in this model of society. This was the theme chosen by Ada (Support for autonomous development) for the 40th session of its Midi de la microfinance, this Wednesday. A special edition which took place in the presence of the Grand Duchess and Romain Schneider, Minister of Cooperation and Humanitarian Action.

To discuss this theme and share their experiences, Ada invited three African experts, involved in finance and business creation. By way of introduction, Félicité Kambou, director of an agricultural service delivery cooperative in Burkina Faso (Coobsa), notes the role played by microfinance in the development of women and families. “She allows her to support herself, to provide schooling and meals for her children with the income she generates on her own.”

Women also need to be educated in finance.
Josée Mukandinda, Umutanguha Finance Company (Rwanda)

Director of operations for a microcredit company in Rwanda (Umutanguha Finance Company), Josée Mukandinda talks about the dual role of microfinance. “There is of course the supply of financial services, but also the supply of non-financial services. To succeed in projects, women need to be educated in finance and in the business of entrepreneurship. These are things that we bring to them. ”

As for Marèma Bao, deputy director of the Senegalese company Cofina, she is already taking a step further by targeting mesocredit, the one that allows women entrepreneurs to move from micro-enterprise to SME stage. “Women are enterprising, but find it difficult to take the step towards SMEs.”

The problem? In particular the guarantees that must be able to be provided for larger loans. “African women still have little access to land, which is reserved for men,” she observes. “So they need support, which can come from governments or private actors.”

African women still have little access to land.
Marèma Bao, Senegal

According to studies carried out on the African continent, one in four women has already created a business. A huge development, linked in particular to the multiplication of microcredit players… and to the confidence generated by female entrepreneurs. “Women perform better than men,” confirms Josée Mukandinda. “They try to comply 100% with what has been agreed with the microcredit organization.”

Encouraging testimonies, symbols of an enterprising Africa which gives more and more space to women. “In Rwanda,” explains Josée Mukandinda, “land ownership is already shared equally between the spouses. And each becomes surety for the other if he needs credit. ” A situation that is still relatively exceptional, but which is also a sign of development.

 

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