NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya on Wednesday expressed commitment toward
breaking barriers that impede women’s economic development.
Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and
Gender, said over the past decades, women have been largely
excluded from full economic participation which has negatively
affected the path of many nations towards prosperity.
has carried a steep cost. With the intervention of international
development organizations and other partners, attention is now
focused on pulling women into economic engagement,” Kobia said
during the launch of Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF)
Gender Lens Investment Strategy conference in Nairobi.
hinder women’s participation in development have to be removed
if the benefits are to be achieved because in many African
countries, women are still subject to legal or customary
restrictions in employment, entering into contracts, accessing
credit, opening bank accounts, and owning property,” Kobia said.
She said that in
order to build future economies that are inclusive, everyone
must be given equal opportunity, adding that the centrality of
women as critical drivers of development makes it imperative to
firmly anchor gender equality and their empowerment and
protection of their rights in the changing landscape of
international development cooperation.
“This will be
attained through strategies of inclusive growth, job creation,
increasing agricultural production; investments in science,
technology, research and innovation; gender equality, youth
empowerment and the provision of basic services such as health,
nutrition, education, shelter, water and sanitation,” Kobia
The conference, to
mark AECF’s 10th anniversary, drew participants from
across the continent to discuss the right investments that can
help create a climate of resilient economy in Africa.
institution, which was launched in 2008, supports businesses to
innovate, create jobs, leverage investments and markets in an
effort to create resilience and sustainable incomes in rural and
marginalized communities in Africa. It has mobilized over 310
million U.S. dollars to date, leveraging more than 580 million
dollars in matching capital and has improved the lives of more
than 13 million people.
Paul Boateng, AECF
Board chairman, said the organization works where others will
not venture like investing in emerging, post-conflict and
transitioning states to create new markets and funding
businesses to scale their operations for underserved and