Workshop on Smart Gender-Based Investment for Inclusive Growth in North Africa Explores Opportunities for Women Entrepreneurs

Africa Office of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, in collaboration with Oxford Economics Africa, organized a workshop on “Smart Gender-Based Investment for Inclusive Growth in North Africa.” The online workshop presented preliminary findings of a joint report on the topic, prepared by policymakers, academics, private sector representatives, and development partners in North Africa.

The report examined the evolving environment for entrepreneurship and small and medium-sized enterprises, with a focus on the contributions of women in this field. It provided a set of recommendations for governments to encourage the creation of a supportive environment for women-led businesses, fostering economies for faster, inclusive, and resilient growth.

Experts highlighted the increasing role of female entrepreneurship and small and medium-sized enterprises in generating employment opportunities in North Africa in recent years. They emphasized their contribution to women’s integration into the labor market and the reduction of the gender gap in employment in the region.

Improving economic opportunities for women and implementing gender-responsive investments can have positive effects on social, educational, and health plans, promoting sustainable development, job creation, and resilience during economic crises, according to industry experts.

Current employment statistics in North Africa indicate a clear underrepresentation of women in the working-age population compared to the global average, which slightly exceeds 40%. In contrast, the female representation in North Africa is around 20% lower than the global average. This trend has worsened in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent economic challenges faced by the region.

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