Mauritius marks International Women’s Day with SheTrades Hub

12 March 2023
ITC News

ITC welcomes Mauritius as the host of its 12th SheTrades Hub

As a leading country at the forefront of cybersecurity and women’s empowerment, Mauritius is a champion small island developing state (SIDS).

One day after International Women’s Day, the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Economic Development Board (EDB) Mauritius launched the ITC SheTrades Mauritius Hub. The new Hub will deliver business and investment opportunities to Mauritian women entrepreneurs and foster a community of partners to support their success in trade and digital economy. 

ITC Executive Director Pamela Coke-Hamilton attended the launch event with distinguished guests Kobita Jugnauth, the wife of Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Jugnauth; High Commissioner of the United Kingdom H.E. Charlotte Pierre; the Honourable Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Renganaden Padayachy; the Honourable Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives Soomilduth Bholah and Chief Executive Officer of EDB Mauritius Ken Poonoosamy.

ITC, represented by Coke-Hamilton, and EDB, represented by Poonoosamy, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the presence of Jugnauth and H.E. Pierre.

“With the official launch of the SheTrades Hub in Mauritius today, ITC is excited to continue building on our already-excellent partnership with the Government of Mauritius to deliver more targeted support to young women and women-led businesses in the country,” said Coke-Hamilton at the launch event. “We have a strong track record in not only supporting the internationalization and digitalization of women-led businesses, but also in institutional strengthening. In this regard, I am pleased to share that our in-house e-commerce and sector experts stand ready to work with the Government and the new SheTrades Hub to position Mauritian women for success in the digital economy.”

Fortifying the relationship with Mauritius and ITC’s work in the country

During this first visit to Mauritius, Coke-Hamilton met the Honourable Prime Minister H.E. Pravind Jugnauth, Honourable Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade Mahen Kumar Seeruttun, and Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Namita Jagarnath Hardowar. They discussed the potential of leveraging the digital economy, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and public procurement opportunities to deliver gender transformative outcomes and upgrading the country’s climate resilience as a SIDS through ITC’s Trade Obstacle Alert Mechanism, National Export Strategy and Trade Market Intelligence resources.

Coke-Hamilton also met with the Secretary General of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) H.E. Salman Al Farisi and discussed possibilities to further integrate trade into the IORA region’s tourism sector and advance regional dialogue on the blue economy. The IORA region currently hosts five SheTrades Hubs and presents a huge potential for collaboration and peer-to-peer learning.

Apart from the SheTrades Mauritius Hub, ITC is also implementing the SheTrades Mauritius project, which is funded by the Government of the United Kingdom. The project aims to increase women and young women graduates’ participation in trade by strengthening the business support ecosystem through the Hub, sector-specific workshops and ITC market-intelligence tools.

Since its inception, the project has delivered training to 25 women entrepreneurs in the textile and apparel sector on manufacturing market trends and supply and logistics requirements; supported four women tourism operators in attending ITB Berlin, the world’s largest tourism trade fair, and organized a bilateral visit between SheTrades South Africa and SheTrades Mauritius Hubs to promote peer-to-peer learning and partnerships on women’s empowerment efforts.

A gender champion, Mauritius was one of the first countries to implement ITC’s SheTrades Outlook in 2019. The policy tool supports governments with monitoring, assessing and improving the policy ecosystem to support women’s participation in trade. SheTrades Outlook has been rolled out so far in 52 developed and developing countries.

Learn more about Mauritius’ performance on SheTrades Outlook in this policy brief.

Learn more about SheTrades Hubs in this brochure.