Sustained trade expansion and economic growth in the ACP countries provides the needed hope that the sought success in pushing back the frontiers of poverty, informal economy, youth unemployment and trade inclusiveness is within reach. IMF’s latest statistics confirms that the majority of the fastest-growing economies in the world through 2020 will be in Africa. Intra-ACP trade is growing. Caribbean and Pacific countries are strengthening their frontier status in the sector of trade in services.
That positive performance notwithstanding, the numbers of women still operating within the informal economies is staggering. The ACP Group, hosting the majority of LDCs and women entrepreneurs in the informal sector, is the battleground on which the 2030 Agenda will be won or lost.
- For women, the formal economy opens doors to new financing possibilities.
- The public sector can scale-up access to finance, technology and knowledge.
- Partnerships are needed at all levels to help lift women out of poverty.
- Capacity building is helping rural women move their businesses up the value chain.
The International Monetary Fund’s latest statistics confirm that the majority of the fastest-growing economies in the world through 2020 will be in Africa. Trade within the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries is also growing. Yet, at the same time, the number of women still operating within informal economies is staggering. So what can be done to help women out of the precarious informal economy?
While the ingenuity and dynamism of the informal sector is a real strength, becoming part of the formal economy allows the government to protect and respond to the needs of its citizens better, for example, via social security schemes and to provide better services such as childcare and education. For entrepreneurs and women, in particular, the formal economy opens doors to new financing possibilities.
Partnership is needed at all levels to help lift women out of the poverty trap. Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the European Union and ACP nations and region
Mainstreaming gender can only work if it seeks to tackle the social and cultural norms that underlie gender discrimination, such as denying a woman’s right to own land or child marriage.