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Businesswoman Amina Hersi

Amina Hersi Calls for Gender Inclusiveness to Accelerate Africa’s Industrialization

by Max Pat
posted onDecember 6, 2022

Uganda’s prominent businesswoman has called for gender inclusiveness to accelerate Africa’s path to industrialization.

Amina said it is essential to include women in Africa's industrial push because it promotes gender equality, which is a fundamental human right, as well as speedier economic growth, shared wealth, and sustainable development.

Ms. Hersi, the Chief Executive Officer of Horyal Investments Holding Company Ltd, the entity behind Atiak Sugar and several other investments in the country was speaking at the African Women Transformers Summit and on the fringes of the extraordinary session of the African Union Heads of State Summit on Industrialization, Economic Diversification in Niamey Niger.

Ms. Hersi stated that access to funds continues to be a barrier to advancing women's rights and development. To rally support for women, Ms. Hersi used the story of her journey into industrialisation to call for the support of women. She explained her struggle raising capital to develop the factory including having to stake her properties to raise finance and being turned down by international lenders.

“I got a lot of challenges whereby I was almost bankrupt. Then I cried to the government. I should pause to say thank you to the president of Uganda and his government for realising that the women are supporting me and I have brought them together. The land which I had leased, I gave them 5,000 acres and I said this one no will disturb you, you will grow cane and sell it to me,” she said.

She added, “I asked the government to do affirmative action for the women because they don’t have money and no bank is willing to give them money so you can give them a grant for them to grow the cane so they can sell to the factory and that is what was actually done”.

At the end of the four days meeting, African leaders and participants released a consensus statement regarding the future of economic diversification and industrialization in Africa. The summit offered the chance to evaluate the progress made throughout the year in the effort to industrialise, and it offered a forum for policy discourse to reaffirm a clear commitment to advancing structural transformation.

The ministers and attendees of the Niamey, Niger Extraordinary Summit on Economic Diversification and Industrialisation recommended in a report that regional integration concerns and key policies be urgently addressed to support industrialization in Africa. They also emphasized that, given Africa's extraordinary economic potential, the continent is widely regarded as a future frontier for investment and development.

However, it was acknowledged that it took place against a backdrop of utter uncertainty due to the long-lasting effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the urgent challenges posed by climate change, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict that has disrupted global supply chains with significant global consequences and more fundamentally on African economies.

The current Chairperson of the Executive Council, Ms. Aissata Tall Sall, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad, emphasised the vital role played by the private sector in fostering innovation in high-potential fields like agriculture, agro-industry, health, education, infrastructure, and particularly energy, which continues to be a major obstacle to the advancement of industrialization.

This decision, she said, has a high strategic relevance because the goal of the industrialisation and productive transformation process in our countries is to enhance their capacity to take advantage of the various natural and human resources that the continent has to offer.

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