NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 25 – President Barack Obama on Saturday announced that the United States will set up three entrepreneurship centers in Kenya, Mali and Zambia to support women entrepreneurs.
Speaking during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) at the UN headquarters in Nairobi’s Gigiri, Obama said the Kenyan centre will be launched later in the year.
“We are launching three women’s entrepreneurial centers one in Zambia, one I will bring later this year in Nairobi and I am proud to announce that the third centre will be located in Mali,” he announced amidst cheers and claps.
He said the US had contributed $1 billion to support the three centers.
While emphasizing the importance of public-private partnership, Obama appreciated the support by private investors who had contributed $100 million to boost the kitty set aside to support women entrepreneurs in the three African countries.
The decision to open the centers to support women, Obama explained, was anchored on their strength to organise themselves in groups and identify business projects that not only propel their lives but also those that uplift their communities socially and economically.
“Women are powerhouse entrepreneurs. The research shows that women are entrepreneurs and they succeed, they drive economic growth and they invest more back in their families and communities,” he acknowledged.
In recognition that women had supported establishment of 1,600 women entrepreneurs across Africa, Obama said it was important to support their efforts to help them achieve their goals.