“The iHuzo project sought to ultimately catalyse the growth of livelihoods by supporting [micro, small, and medium enterprises’] growth through the digitization of their businesses, and of course, women were part of our target beneficiaries”, said Access to Finance Rwanda CEO Bosco Iyacu.
Lyacu said that the programme’s success had continued even as the pandemic waned, noting that its accomplishments were “possible thanks to the Government’s commitment to establishing a conducive policy and regulatory environment”.
“This initiative came at the perfect time”, said Therese Uwumwanayezu, a trainee at Ihuzu. “In the past I thought that ICT and digital platforms would always be a foreign concept to me, and I never thought twice about learning or making use of them in my business. When I was introduced to the Ihuzo platform, my business and financial management changed completely.”
“I am now able to buy and sell my products online, perform financial transactions, but also tap into other national digital systems”, she added, saying, “My only wish is that more women get introduced to this platform, and benefit in the same way I have.”
Through this initiative, the Government of Rwanda has been able to increase the number of women registered on digital financial systems. More than 55 per cent of Rwandan women are currently registered users of such systems, contributing to their economic autonomy and enabling them to make use of the security, convenience, and opportunities that digital financing offers.
The Government of Rwanda has also agreed to reduce the gender gap across digital technologies within the East African Community. Through the 50 Million African Women Speak digital platform, a hub for women-led businesses across 38 African countries, 40 women entrepreneurs have been selected by the government to take part in trainings to leverage opportunities for economic growth provided by the platform.
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