The partnership between the United States and local Moroccan organizations on women’s economic empowerment was the focus of a roundtable discussion held Thursday in Rabat.
This discussion is part of the US International Development Finance Corporation’s (DFC) announcement on 22 December 2020 of the launch of the 2X MENA initiative that will mobilise $1 billion in investment in projects that will advance women’s economic empowerment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
At the meeting, US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Kelley Currie stressed that partnership with local organisations is at the heart of the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) initiative, as they “have the local knowledge, know what needs to be done, can help intervene effectively and identify women who need what this programme offers”. It is crucial “to help women thrive in the world of work, access skills, training and funds.
Now more than ever, we need women to be leaders in the recovery of the economy” impacted by the Covid-19 health crisis, she added. For her part, Charity Wallace, Executive Director of the CFR for Global Women’s Issues, noted in a statement to MAP that the objective of this roundtable is to identify opportunities for the CFR and the US government to invest in the economic empowerment of women in the MENA region and specifically in Morocco. “We want to identify transactions in which we can invest in women as entrepreneurs, managers or employees, but also in products and services that benefit them,” she said, noting that with respect to Morocco, the KBD also wants to “identify opportunities for the inclusion of the private sector.
For his part, Ikram El Houdali, manager of the Sustainable Industrial Zones Fund (Fonzid) at the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA)-Morocco, said that the fund works to implement initiatives that improve women’s access to industrial zones through the financing of incubator initiatives, support for small businesses, and the financing of vocational training programmes and services, including transport and security. It further stressed that women do not have access to the necessary knowledge and training in small business creation or access to credit and funds.
Samira Mzibar, Gender and Social Inclusion Manager at the Rural Land Directorate of the Millennium Challenge Account Corporation-Morocco Agency, highlighted the role that belonging to a women’s network plays in building women’s self-confidence.
Through the 2X MENA initiative, the CTD will invest in solutions that provide economic opportunities for women that will enable them to participate more meaningfully in the economy, thrive in the labour market and succeed as entrepreneurs.