Women working in the textile sector in Burundi will soon be able to produce high quality cloth after undergoing skills and entrepreneurial empowerment through an incubator project supported by the Federation of Women in Business for Eastern and Southern Africa (FEMCOM) in partnership with African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) Spanish Fund.
The training which is also facilitated through the Business Incubator for African Women Entrepreneurs (BIAWE) project is expected to contribute to creating jobs for women in Burundi.
BIAWE Project Coordinator, Darlene Hakizimana stated that the women entrepreneurs have been equipped with business skills as well as being trained technically to use industrial sewing machines to manufacture creative and well-designed textile products. Once trained, the women are encouraged to form cooperatives so as to empower themselves financially and through coaching and mentorship programs for sustainability of their startup business.
Ms. Hakizimana said that the BIAWE project is creating strategic partnerships for the entrepreneurs with different institutions in the country and beyond. These partnerships will enable them to link with off takers and market for their products. The activity is expected to create a great opportunity for designers and entrepreneurs who would want to craft their own brand with innovative fashion designs. Using local arts and traditions with attract local, regional and international customers with reasonable cost and be able to compete with imported textiles’ market from other countries.
Some of the items earmarked for production include uniforms, branded wear as well as other textile products including embroidery targeted for the local and foreign market,” Ms Hakizimana added.
The Burundi Investment Promotion Authority (API) has commended the initiative saying it will greatly benefit the agriculture sector by promoting the growing of local cotton, which is a raw material for most garments and textiles.
This FEMCOM project in the textile sector aims to empower women in different sectors in COMESA Member States where association has its footprints.