[English version here] Bien que l’attention du monde ces jours-ci porte principalement sur ce qui se passe en Afghanistan, j’aimerais que nous nous rappelions également qu’il y a d’autres pays souvent oubliés et que nous apprenions de leurs voix inouïes. Pour cette raison la série sur l’entrepreneuriat féminin dans les pays du Sud du monde continue avec mon entretien avec une ancienne collègue, Micheline Engiteyo, qui est en train d’établir sa propre organisation en République Démocratique du Congo (RDC).
This blog post is the first of a series focusing on female entrepreneurship in Southern countries. I start with an interview with a Kenyan woman, Mercy Khamala. Mercy has successfully transitioned from the humanitarian sector to business, founding the online concept store Meruti. Here she shares her journey and reflects on what she has learned along the way.
Before Covid-19, before Black Lives Matter, the aid and development sector was already grappling with massive challenges – the ‘Aid too’ movement, the full-on attack on multilateralism, the toxic narrative against refugees, just to name a few. Yet, there was little questioning where to turn for solutions. The sector has responded to those challenges with a flurry of initiatives based on ‘best practices’ and widely accepted knowledge. Stricter measures have been introduced for higher protection from sexual exploitation and abuse in country programmes. In some cases, policymakers have started listening more to the voices of affected populations; in other cases, they have allowed for refugees’ participation in key policy discussions. Yet, the reforms enacted so far are still fundamentally grounded in traditional Western/Northern notions of what is best for ‘developing’ countries and their people.