Women from over 210 cooperatives countrywide are being supported by the National Women Council to exhibit their products at the ongoing international trade fair at Gikondo Expo Grounds.
Yvette Muteteli, the acting director of the Women Empowerment Unit at the council, said at the weekend that the number of beneficiaries will continue growing with the aim of giving a chance to women to learn and sell their products.
“What we actually want is to ensure that these women and men who are part of the selected cooperatives can get new ideas that can be useful in terms of either improving quality of their products or getting exposurre and win potential clients,” said Muteteli.
Currently, representatives of 30 women cooperatives are exhibiting their products in the ongoing expo as part of the women council annual support initiative.
The council covers all expenses, including transportation of the exhibitors from their respective districts. A representative must come from each of the country’s 30 districts.
Other support forms include paying for their stands at the expo grounds as well as accommodation. “We realised that there are women out there who can benefit from this expo but they lack funds to make their products known while there are also those who need to learn from others to ensure that their work get to another level,” Muteteli said.
In addition to enabling women get employment through developing their skills, the council is optimistic that the move is an effective medium through which up-coming women and men entrepreneurs adopt effective marketing strategies.
Representatives of the various cooperatives are expected to get back and pass on the acquired skills to their collegues. Annonciata Nyiramisango, one of the exhibitors from Gisagara District in the Southern Province said taking part in the Expo 2013 has been a learning opportunity.
“It is my first time to take part in this annual expo, but from what I have witnessed here, I think there is actually a need for us to be taking part every year to ensure that we keep up with the changing technology,” she said.
The council’s executive secretary, Christine Tuyisenge, said the council will continue supporting women in various aspects in line with government programmes to ensure that beneficiaries effectively fight poverty and contribute to the country’s development. Among other measures, women with bankable projects are being helped to access finance through a guarantee fund.