H.E. Rula Ghani, the First Lady of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and H.E. Adela Raz, Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic cooperation along with a group of Afghan women entrepreneurs participated at the SheTrades Global, 2018 International Business Festival organized by the International Trade Center on 26-28 June, 2018, in Liverpool, United Kingdom.
In a keynote conversation hosted by Ms. Arancha González, Executive Director of ITC, held on June 26th, H.E. the First Lady spoke, among other issues, about the activities and support provided by her office for the empowerment of Afghan women in general and Afghan women entrepreneurs in particular. She shed light on the hard-gained achievements of Afghan women and the ongoing challenges. H.E. the First Lady talked about the initiative by a group of enthusiastic women activists which with her support led to the establishment of the Afghan Women Chamber of Commerce & Industries. She stated that the Afghan women are capable and resilient and stressed the importance of economic empowerment of women through encouragement and tolerance.
Deputy Foreign Minister Adela Raz also participated in a panel discussion entitled “Women and Trade: Future Trends” on June 27th in Liverpool. In her remarks, Deputy Foreign Minister Raz spoke about the current developments and ongoing efforts of the Afghan government for enhancing regional economic cooperation, regional connectivity, trade facilitation and women economic empowerment. She stated that the Afghan government for the last three years has taken positive steps towards economic development and improving trade including through adopting national priority programs, including women’s economic empowerment program, establishment of the Afghan Women Chamber of Commerce and Industries, conclusion of trade and transit agreements with regional countries and establishment of air corridors with a number of countries in the region.
She also highlighted the achievements and challenges of the Afghan women traders and underlined the importance of technology, online business and access to regional and international markets for the products of Afghan women entrepreneurs. She encouraged participants to invest in Afghanistan, do business with Afghan women and share their experiences with them.
The participation of Afghan women entrepreneurs in this program was facilitated under RECCA in collaboration with UNDP as a follow-up to the Special Event on Women's Entrepreneurship Development held last November on the sidelines of RECCA VII in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.