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Harakat Conducts Online Public Private Dialogue to Discuss COVID-19 Impacts on Women’s Businesses in Kandahar Province

Date: 2020-05-19

Despite the anticipated challenges of COVID-19 on businesses and the economy of Afghanistan, Harakat continues to collaborate with and support the private sector by creating opportunities to stay engaged through dialogues and discuss solutions.  On May 19, 2020, in collaboration with Afghanistan Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AWCCI) and the office of AWCCI in Kandahar province, Harakat held another successful online Public Private Dialogue (PPD) session via Zoom to discuss COVID-19 impact on women-owned businesses in Kandahar.

Alongside Harakat, AWCCI leadership, and members of AWCCI office in Kandahar, representatives from various government entities joined the online session as well, which included high ranking officials from Kandahar’s Governor Office, namely Mr. Matiullah Shirzad, head of the Private Sector department in the Kandahar, his two colleagues from the Gender Department, Ms. Gulali Shirzai and Ms.  Nazifa Haidari Nawrozi, and their colleague from the Procurement Department, Mr. Farid Ahmad.  Other government officials present were Mr. Hanifullah Hanif, head of Urban Development and Lands, Mr. Sayed Hafizullah Sayedi, head of Agricultural and Livestock, Mr. Faridullah Habib, deputy director of Commerce and Industry, and dozens of businesswomen from across Kandahar. 

 

The PPD aimed to directly hear from women-owned businesses in Kandahar and to discuss their major concerns, involving business closures, suspension of women’s economic activities, monthly rent payments and salary compensation factories closures, lack of market for stocked commodities, lack of market for fresh fruits, lack of market for handcrafts, lack of coordination among business owners, and lack of cooperation in providing information about the lands that were given to businesswomen in a presidential decree.

 

To solve the challenges mentions above, the participants discussed the suggestions below: 

  • The government entities should purchase at least 25% of internal products, including 5% of the women-produced products
  • Kandahar Governor Office should share businesswomen’s suggestions with government institutions and international organizations 
  • Different opportunities and projects should be explored, such as agricultural distribution of non-organic eggs
  • Cold storage rooms should be built to keep agricultural commodities fresh
  • Poultry and apple, which are the businesswomen’s products in the country, should be encouraged to be include on the menus of all government institutions by the Ministry of Agricultural, Irrigation, and Livestock
  • Land distribution process should be made easier for women-owned businesses 
  • Lands should be distributed for businesswomen across all districts of Kandahar Province by the Ministry of Urban Development and Lands.