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ACCI debuts Kowgo app to bridge financial gaps, gender inclusivity

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A new business app that targets women traders dealing in made in Nigeria products has been launched by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, (ACCI), in partnership with Women Arise Development and Humanitarian Initiative, (WADHI), to give international visibility to locally produced goods and provide access to financial support.

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The mobile app, Kowgo, which was launched at the weekend in Abuja, is developed to help businesses, especially those owned by women that deal in indigenous products, to have a presence in the international market space.

Convener of Araha market and chief executive of Women Arise Development and Humanitarian Initiative, (WADHI), Mrs. Esther Eghobamien-Mshelia, said the app is designed in such a way that it helps users access business and training guides and can also serve as a source of business record which can be used to access financial support.

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She noted that it is very important for made in Nigeria products to sell internally because it would not only increase the earnings of business owners but also boost the nation’s image in the global market scene especially women-owned businesses.

Taking advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area, (AFCTA), Mshelia said Araha market is a combination of both physical and virtual trading options of made in Nigeria products, and the Kowgo app is expected to boost sales in the global market.

She explained that Kowgo was born out of the need to teach women running small and medium scale businesses how to do business online, keep records online and have greater visibility online to attract international customers.

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She said as partners of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, (ACCI), “we realised that women traders are not really using their phones to help grow their businesses so the Kowgo mobile app to help to teach women about how to do business online, how to keep their records and have backups.

“We have found out that most women do not keep records such as when they go to the banks to access support, they are not able to provide any business report or present their profits level.

“Women traders can save reports on their phones, trade with the app on their phones as well as generate their report because now we offer them learning, trading and they can generate their report and know if whether their business is doing well or not, they also have a window where they can sell their products anywhere in the world because we have upgraded hence we are launching it now.”

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According to her, over 4,000 women traders have been trained in partnership with the Bank of Industry and others, on how to use the Kowgo mobile app to grow their business both physical and virtual.

DirectorGeneral of the ACCI, Victoria Akai, noted that the Araha market (meaning cheap market), has successfully organised the ‘Aba in Abuja’ market show for this month and the target is to provide more Nigerians resident in the FCT access to Aba made products at affordable prices.

She said, “Araha market is a hybrid market that meets physically meets once a month but is link virtually so that they can continue to trade throughout the year.

“The idea is to have businesses around the country meet to display and sell their products, interact with international and local buyers and also continue to transact even after the physical market.”

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