The Federation of National Associations of Women in Business in COMESA (FEMCOM) and the National Women Entrepreneur Council (NWEC) in Mauritius have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to cover various areas of co-operation over a three-year period on August 28, 2014.

The agreement was signed on 28 August 2014 by the NWEC chairperson, Vimi Anuradha Appadoo, and the Chief Executive Officer of FEMCOM, Mrs Katherine
Ichoya. This was in the presence of the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mireille Martin.

The aim of this MOU is to provide technical and advisory services to NWEC relative to the Business Incubator for African Women Entrepreneurship Development
and the promotion and implementation of the COMESA Cluster Development Initiative in Mauritius.

In addition, the MOU aims to enhance capacity building for women entrepreneurship development through the availability of technical resources. Further, it will facilitate intra-COMESA trade and investment for women entrepreneurs and a joint advocacy for mobilization of resources aimed at the implementation of environmentally sustainable projects.

Minister Mireille Martin announced the placement of NWEC under the FEMCOM Chapter for Mauritius. This is in line with the current practice whereby FEMCOM has
established chapters with national associations of all Member States to encourage the implementation of its activities. This also provides a forum for exchange of ideas
and experience among women entrepreneurs in the sub-region.

“The signing of this agreement and designation of NWEC as FEMCOM’s local chapter is a positive development for women entrepreneurs in Mauritius to tap into the COMESA market through the services provided by FEMCOM,” Minister Martin said.
“The NWEC will stimulate the local businesswomen to embrace regional and international markets.”

FEMCOM Director, Mrs Katherine Ichoya, said her organization will collaborate with NWEC to ensure that the objectives of the MOU are achieved.

“Further, joint mobilization of resources and collaboration is needed to enable women entrepreneurs improve their skills, add value to their products, increase production and facilitate business exposure to enable them have access to markets in the COMESA region and beyond,” she said.

Representatives of various women entrepreneur associations and co-operatives had the opportunity to participate in a networking session, which encouraged them to set
up sustainable enterprises and promote a culture of entrepreneurship by being aware of opportunities to explore more business ventures at regional level.