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Tunisia: 4 consortia of women-led businesses set up to ease access to COMESA

Four multi-sector consortia of 100 women-led businesses have been created to streamline their access to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Minister of Trade and Export Development Fadhila Rebhi said on Thursday.

These consortia of companies operating in the sectors of handicrafts and cosmetics, services and information and communication technology will work on promoting Tunisian products in Africa, to increase trade between Tunisia and African countries and achieve a true regional integration, the minister pointed out at the opening of the international conference «COMESA Tunisia Business Women Days.»

“Tunisia’s trade with African countries has picked up 47% over the past three years and 45% with COMESA member countries, particularly due to the increase in agri-food products trade.

Tunisia’s membership of COMESA has enabled several offshore companies to access markets that were previously difficult to access, including Madagascar, Kenya and Djibouti, according to Rebhi.

“Through this membership, the Tunisian government aims to make Africa, including North Africa, Tunisia’s second largest trading partner by 2030,” she said.

A decree-law binding the State to cover the expenses of 50% of the Export Credit Insurance to Africa will be issued.

“The economic situation and the geopolitical reality require Tunisia and women entrepreneurs in particular to deploy greater efforts to develop a win-win cooperation with African countries and promote local products, especially agricultural.”

Speaking at the conference, President of the National Chamber of Women Entrepreneurs (CNFCE) Leila Belkhiria Jaber said the four consortia created have received training from the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), to introduce women entrepreneurs to the specificities of African markets.


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