US Ambassador Randy Berry Launches Third Cohort of Academy for Women Entrepreneurs Program in Namibia

April 4, 2023 : The U.S. Ambassador to Namibia, Randy Berry, launched the third cohort of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) program in Walvis Bay, Namibia. The AWE program aims to provide women with the tools they need to create and grow their own businesses, raise capital, and network with other successful business owners from around the world. The program was first established in Namibia in November 2020, and 70 women from the Karas, Erongo, Khomas, Ohangwena, and Oshana regions graduated from the first and second cohort in 2021 and 2022, respectively. This year, 120 participants from all 14 regions of Namibia will receive training over a period of five months.

The U.S. government seeks to broaden its engagement and catalyze public and private partnerships to enable Namibia to harness its economic opportunity and build an inclusive and resilient economy. Investing in women entrepreneurs is one way the U.S. government partners with Namibians to build a more inclusive and resilient economy. The U.S. Embassy funds AWE, and the Association for Entrepreneurial Development (AED) implements the program. AWE is a global program run by the U.S. Department of State that currently empowers women entrepreneurs in more than 50 countries. The program was developed to support the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative, which aims to support women worldwide in fulfilling their economic potential.

Ambassador Berry stated that investing in women entrepreneurs is essential, as data shows that when women entrepreneurs are successful, whole communities benefit, including men, women, and children. The program is expected to contribute to reducing the high youth unemployment rate and income inequality in Namibia. The launch of the third cohort of AWE in Namibia is a positive step towards creating a more inclusive and resilient economy, and empowering women to fulfill their economic potential.