The Comesa Federation of National Associations of Women in Business (Comfwb) and the Zambia Federation of Associations of Women in Business have partnered the Zambia government to host the second regional trade fair.
A statement from the 19-member Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) says the second annual regional Women in Business Trade Fair under the theme Promoting Regional Integration and Strong Resilient Economies Through Trade will be held in Lusaka, Zambia from today to Friday.
Reads the statement in part: “The trade fair will provide an opportunity for local, regional and international investors to engage and evaluate promising investment opportunities.
“During the exhibition, various goods and services will be showcased by exhibitors from the Comesa region and beyond.”
The statement further says the exhibition and workshops will bring together local, regional and international women in business.
The exhibition, according to the statement, will among many other outcomes ensure that players in the production value chain complement and support one another.
Comfwb board chairperson Maureen Sumbwe is quoted in the statement as having said that despite the critical role women entrepreneurs play in the economy, their businesses have continued to face challenges.
“Many women have limited access to finance because of the burdensome conditions set by the financial sector for obtaining loans such as high interest rates and requirements for collateral and inadequate start-up capital,” she said.
In an interview yesterday, Chamber for Small and Medium Businesses Association executive secretary James Chiutsi said they are planning to send participants from the women wing of the association.
He said: “This is an important fair, but the challenge is that we are short of money to send as many women as we would have wanted.
“They already have products to display at the fair,” he said.