The Ethiopian Parliament has recently approved a 30-million-dollar loan in a bid to support women’s entrepreneurship and pastoral communities. The loan is intended to help execute development Projects in regions that host a predominately pastoralist community, while also supporting the business creativity of women.

Half of the total loan will go for the phase three implementation of the Pastoral Community Development project. This project first commenced in 2003 and was supported by the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA).

The third phase – launched in 2014 and extending up to 2018 – will benefit 113 new weredas not included during the first two phases. Both semi-pastoral and pastoral communities are included. The programme was launched with 195 million Br in funds – 110 million Br from the IDA and 85 million Br from the International Fund for Agricultural Development. The 15-million-dollar fund is an addition to this.

The additional 15 million dollars, which will support female entrepreneurs, is being injected as part of an agreement signed last year between the Ethiopian and Italian governments.

This partnership is in line with the Women Entrepreneurship Development Programme, which was jointly initiated by the World Bank and Ethiopian government in 2012, with 53 million dollars. The programme aims to increase the income of women running micro-enterprises in both urban and rural areas, through business development training, capital leasing and matching grants.

Reports show that unemployment is three time higher for women than their male counterparts, as well as a 50pc wage gap.

This particular project will phase out in 2017

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