By: Shukria Kohistani
Based on assessment of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI), Afghan small entrepreneurships particularly led by women have faced with a loss of nearly $2billon.
Amin Babak, a spokesperson to the country’s chamber of commerce and industries, says following the coronavirus outbreak and lockdown of big cities in the country, a big part of damages and losses of the country’s private sector has been reviewed.
“We’ve found that the country’s private sector has faced with the loss of $2 billion,” Babak said, adding that all small entrepreneurships have faced with an experience.
Meanwhile, Bamyan women entrepreneurs say the province’s women entrepreneurships have also faced with big economic losses following the coronavirus outbreak in the country. A number of Bamyani women entrepreneurs consider lack of technology as a lost opportunity, saying that not acquaintance with modern technology has caused that they cannot introduce their products and online sell their products.
Officials for ministry of commerce say the main reason of recent losses in trade is that all trade is followed traditionally. They said they were making effort to provide modern trading mechanism to Afghan traders through various institutions and create market to introduce their products.
Zahra Kazimi, 42, started activities in the field of handicrafts in Bamyan 17 years ago. Currently, Mrs. Kazimi has a small entrepreneurship in Bamyan where 20 women are working directly to produce handicrafts, while nearly 400 other women are indirectly busy in countryside producing handicrafts.
Zahra Kazimi says before the coronavirus outbreak and lockdown of big cities, her business was good as her products were exported to foreign countries.
“I did not have any incomes due to the coronavirus outbreak and closing of our markets,” Mrs. Kazimi said, adding that she has lost 1million AFG as all markets were closed and business was stuck.
Uzra Ali, another woman entrepreneur producing bag and sandal, says nearly 50 women were busy and working at her small entrepreneurship, but due to the coronavirus outbreak and lockdown of cities, she closed it and all women left the business.
“We’ve faced with a big loss this year because of the coronavirus outbreak. What we had produced were not sold as all markets were closed and nobody visited Bamyan as a tourist,” Uzra Ali added.
Uzra Ali has now resumed her business at her small entrepreneurship and is trying to compensate all losses she had faced during the coronavirus outbreak, but currently there are 10 women working at her entrepreneurship.
In Bamyan, most women are busy producing handicrafts at small entrepreneurships with small investment, but coronavirus outbreak has put negative impacts on their businesses.
On the other hand, officials for the ministry of commerce and industries say most of Afghan women entrepreneurs have problems particularly in planning. They say that effort is being made to provide capacity building training to women entrepreneurs so that they can plan their businesses in a better way. They also promise that the eighth exhibition will be soon launched in Kabul’s Chaman-e-Huzuri for Afghan women entrepreneurs to widely introduce their handicrafts to compensate their losses they had experienced during the pandemic.