Building entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills for women in East Africa

December 9, 2022

The training aims to strengthen the involvement of Regional Economic Commissions (RECs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in assisting Member States to fulfill their gender equality commitments.

UNDP Somalia

Addis Ababa, 9 December 2022 - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Secretariat and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), launched the Online Entrepreneurship and Financial Literacy Training Programme for Women and Girls in the IGAD region.

This training series, established as part of UNDP's regional project on Advancing Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in Africa with funding from the Government of Canada, aims to strengthen the involvement of Regional Economic Commissions (RECs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in assisting Member States to fulfill their gender equality commitments.

IGAD Executive Secretary, Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, reiterated his commitment to advancing gender equality and women's empowerment in the IGAD region, asserting that “in pursuit of equality, justice, and sustainable development, the programme will make an immeasurable contribution to empowering women to be self-resilient and independent at the financial level”.

The module consists of a five-week online training for 25 women entrepreneurs from Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda. The training will be followed by a one-week in-person workshop in February 2023.

Stan Nkwain, Acting Director of UNDP's Regional Service Centre for Africa, noted that :UNDP aims to promote inclusive and gender-sensitive approaches, under the ‘Leave no one behind’ principle, to facilitate digital transformation and ensure all related processes and outcomes are people-centered”.

The programme will support IGAD in acquiring an online learning platform and the necessary human capacity to host and deliver the training programme to its member countries in the near future. It is worth noting that the programme will expand its reach to three other RECs, namely the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

During the launch event, Tsitsi Fungurani, Senior International Assistance Officer at the High Commission of Canada, stated, "The full participation of women in the economy is not just the right thing to do. It is the smart thing to do. More than ever, Canada remains firmly committed to accelerating progress towards gender equality, women's empowerment, and fostering inclusive economic growth".

The training programme was built on the findings of a comprehensive training needs assessment conducted by UNITAR and UNDP in 2021, across 35 countries in four RECs (ECCAS, ECOWAS, IGAD and SADC). These findings highlighted the importance of providing women entrepreneurs with the fundamental concepts of entrepreneurship, financial literacy and the tools to assist them in overcoming gender-specific challenges and barriers.


Media contact:

Ayda Labassi, Digital Communications Officer, UNDP Regional Programme for Africa


About UNDP

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.

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About IGAD

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is a Regional Economic Community with a membership of eight countries in Africa namely- Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. The Secretariat of IGAD is located in Djibouti with a vision of achieving peace, prosperity and regional integration in the IGAD region. IGAD fosters collaboration among Member States through four overarching pillars including Agriculture and Environment, Economic Cooperation, Health and Social Development: Peace and Security.a

About UNITAR, Division for Prosperity

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) provides innovative learning solutions to individuals, organizations and institutions to enhance global and country-level action for a better future. Located in Hiroshima, the Division for Prosperity trains present and future change-makers from developing countries, particularly youth and women, so they may shape a more inclusive, sustainable and prosperous world.

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