Manufacturing in Senegal comes with many economic obstacles. Even tariffs on products like cardboard—which are currently at 45%–raise production costs significantly. We will meet a Senegalese-American entrepreneur dealing with these obstacles first-hand, who believes it is essential for her country to remove these economic obstacles so it can grow economically, which in turn could offer more work opportunities for women.
This entrepreneur is a great believer in investment over aid for Africa, and her company epitomizes that philosophy. She employs several rural women in Senegal, who never dreamed they would have the opportunity to have work outside of the home.
We will profile her employees in Senegal, getting to know these women and the opportunities they see, or don’t see, in Senegal for their own daughters.
In another part of Africa, many women support themselves with small agricultural efforts, primarily trading across the borders in small, landlocked countries. In this region 80% of those trading across borders are women. But dozens of barriers have made trade across the border costly, time consuming and dangerous.
This story is about the immediate, visceral benefit free trade and open borders can have on women and their families in these communities. One local organization has already experienced some success with reducing the number of barriers for crossing the border, from almost 30 rules, regulations, checkpoints and fees to 19. What would take all day, now can be done in two hours, and with fewer opportunities to have bribes demanded.
Educational programs have also been initiated, run by women for women in villages along the borders, informing them of their rights, news ways of trading in safety, and training on how to participate in the formal economic sector.