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WBG visits sweets factory in Amman it supports under women empowerment programme

By Ilham Darwazeh - Jun 06,2024 - Last updated at Jun 06,2024

The WBG and MoPIC have launched a new five-year country partnership framework (Photo Courtesy of World Bank Group)

AMMAN — The World Bank Group (WBG) has recently conducted a site visit to Aghati Sweets Factory in Amman, a beneficiary of Industry Development Fund, which aims at increasing women's participation in the private sector. 

The WBG delegation included Regional Director for Mashreq Jean-Christophe Carret, Regional Director for IFC Aftab Ahmed, Resident Representative for Jordan Holly Benner, Regional Vice President for MENA Ousmane Dione and Managing Director of Operations Anna Bjerd. 

Minister of Social Development and Chair of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Women's Empowerment Wafa Bani Mustafa led the visit. 

The WBG and the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation have launched a new five-year country partnership framework to foster inclusive and green growth and create jobs. 

Adel Ghazalah, CEO of Aghati Sweets, said that the partnership with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and Outcome-Based Incentives Programme, has been instrumental in the factory's strategic planning for the next five years and facilitated the hiring of 25 per cent women out of the current 480 employees at the factory. 

"We started Aghati in 2016 with a small factory and two branches. In 2024, we have a large factory and four branches, with plans for more. Aghatinow is exporting to 12 Arab and international countries," said Ghazaleh. 

In line with Jordan's Economic Modernisation Vision, the fund aims to revitalise the manufacturing sector after COVID-19, enhance women's participation, and support women entrepreneurs and employees by fostering their involvement in the industrial sector and contributing to broader economic empowerment. 

The fund also aims to facilitate investment and exports by beneficiary firms in the manufacturing sector. 

During the meeting, Chairman of Chamber of Industry Fathi Jaghbier cited the challenges of increasing women participation in the industrial sector, stressing the need for enhancing communication between public and private sectors to reduce unemployment. 

Rama Jayousi, a 26-year-old employee at Aghati, said, "I live in Zarqa and applied to Aghati as production worker. 

Because of my previous experience in data entry, I was promoted to a receptionist." 

"My work at Aghati has boosted my self-confidence and covered my personal needs and provided financial stability," she added. 

The government has set a target to double women participation from 14 per cent to 28 per cent by 2033, according to the Economic Modernisation Vision. 

National Industrial sector employee more than 91,000 females, 35 per cent, out of about 267,000 female and male workers, working in around 18,000 industrial facilities spread across all governorates, Jaghbeir said. 

Last month, the WBG approved a new $221 million project to promote women's economic opportunities in Jordan. 

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