Monday, February 26, 2007

African Women in Business Series: Intro

This week we shall focus on the impact that Africa's women have upon their respective societies via entrepreneurship. This is a topic which has been on my mind ever since my first stay in Africa, in Cape Coast, Ghana to be exact, it was there that I saw women from the towns and villages engaging in all sorts of entrepreneurial activities. But then, as I began to travel throughout different countries in Africa, my observations did not change much-in terms of women supporting their respective economies through entrepreneurship. Some of the areas that I observed, which had high concentrations of entrepreneurial women were:

  • agricultural production
  • charcoal production (very heavy duty work)
  • marketing of produce (in the market)
  • food hospitality
  • general supply
  • pharmacy

Here is an excerpt from one of the African continent's leading business news publications...I think this journalist sums up the importance of Africa's women in business very well.

"...Although the research on African women entrepreneurs is limited, anecdotal evidence supports the belief that women who possess economic means invest more in education, their families and communities. And women entrepreneurs typically create linkages with other women-owned firms in both rural and urban areas through formal and informal business networks.

In Africa, despite the persistence of the ‘male model’ of corporate behaviour and the marginalisation of women from the formal economy, the myth of typically female societal roles is fast unravelling.

As a few courageous women entrepreneurs are proving their metal in the corporate environment and demonstrating increasingly their contribution as a force for social well-being outside the home environment.

Not only are women competing with their male counterparts for typically male positions in the corporate arena, they are also starting up and running their own businesses.

Taken as an index of potential wealth generation and job creation, the empowerment of women in the African context could be nothing short of spectacular if implemented as a deliberate agenda for change..."

Source: Excerpt Written by Malcolm Ray for Business in Africa

Although at the present moment I do not have all of the facts and figures to present you with right now, something tells me that in many parts of Africa women act as a backbone to their respective economies. Of course, it is my goal to bring you my findings on this, along with all supporting facts and figures that I can find. This shall be quite a task, but I've got to tell you this is one of the most exciting things that I've done in a long time, so hopefully that means that we're up for the challenge!

In this week long series we plan to bring you several angles on Africa's business women:
  • An overview of their importance in general to the markets in which they serve
  • Entrepreneur Profile(s)
  • Current news coming from Africa
  • African Women bloggers (many of which are entrepreneurs too!)
But if you have anything else that you'd like to see covered or if you have some suggestions or contribution on this series, please contact me at beninmwangi@gmail dot com. Otherwise, I hope that you enjoy!

Of course, I love your comments. But, if you can't comment at this particular time- but would like to let us know that you were here; please sign and View my guestbook


t said...

Dear Benin,
It's taken me a while to understand your blog style. Now that I get it, I like it. The preamble, the new, the quote, the request for feedback. Good stuff!
Keep doing your thing.

Benin "Mwangi" said...


Thanks very much, I am happy to see that you stopped by. You are right, guess I am a rather unorthodox fellow in my blog and even outside of blogging. Glad that you appreciate the style of the blog and hope that we can xontinue exploring collaboration.

Hope to talk again soon!


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