Tuesday, 27th June, 2023, Kampala Uganda:The East African Business Council (EABC) joins the international community in commemorating World Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises Day on June 27th. This year’s theme, “Galvanizing MSMEs worldwide by supporting women and youth entrepreneurship and resilient supply chains,” highlights the crucial role of MSMEs in driving economic growth and the need to empower women and youth in this sector.

Over the past year, EABC has been actively supporting MSMEs through initiatives such as the my e-soko platform. This platform has provided MSMEs with enhanced visibility, enabling them to market their products and services, network with other stakeholders, and build their capacity to overcome economic shocks that disrupt supply chains. As the UN emphasizes, global supply chains are vulnerable to conflicts, disasters, and pandemics, making it essential to address these challenges for sustainable trade.

EABC has collaborated with development partners, including the International Trade Center (ITC), Trademark Africa, GIZ, and others, to conduct workshops and webinars that specifically target women and youth, who form a significant part of the MSME sector. These initiatives aim to foster innovation, creativity, and decent work opportunities within the EAC and beyond.

Access to financing remains a major obstacle for MSMEs in the EAC and worldwide. Recognizing this, EABC is actively seeking partnerships with financial institutions such as Afriexim Bank, Equity Bank, the East African Development Bank, and others. These partnerships aim to facilitate affordable and accessible financing for MSMEs, thereby enabling their growth and sustainability.

In terms of policy advocacy, EABC is currently supporting the formation of private sector MSME platforms in Tanzania and Burundi, while strengthening the capacity of existing platforms in other partner states, including the Democratic Republic of Congo. This approach promotes self-regulation and formalization of MSME businesses, creating a favorable operating environment.

EABC advocates for policies that strengthen the capacities of MSMEs and support their development, particularly for women and youth entrepreneurs. By addressing barriers, providing an enabling business environment, and aligning with SDGs 1, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, EABC aims to contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its promise to “leave no one behind.

Published On: July 1st, 2023 / Categories: Highlights, News /