The Astana International Financial Centre together with the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the United States hosted an online roundtable discussion on women's economic empowerment.
The event was attended by the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the United States, Mr. Yerzhan Ashikbayev, Chairman of the Executive Board of JSC "AIFC Authority" Yernur Rysmagambetov, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. State Department, Rafik Mansur and others.
During the event, the speakers highlighted the impact of the recently completed Academy for Women Entrepreneurs programme, U.S. State Department’s initiative that was implemented by the AIFC.
Kazakhstan pays great attention to the empowerment of women, as well as the development of women's entrepreneurship, and intends to continue its cooperation with the United States in this area.
Ambassador Ashikbayev noted: “We all know, investing in women’s success in the economy is essential to our economic competitiveness, just as much as investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, and supply chain resilience. Women’s meaningful economic participation is integral to achieving greater security and stability around the world. We look forward to further expand the area of cooperation with our American partners on the issues of women’s economic empowerment and hope to a continued cooperation”.
100 women aged 21-35 participated in the programme. The trainees were not only able to learn a basic module on building a business, but also gain skills on how to build modern business processes and develop new products, which will enable them to compete successfully in the market.
"Last week in Astana, we held a graduation ceremony with the participation of the U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan, where the best participants received diplomas and grants from Coca-Cola. Alumni of the programme have now joined the network of USG Alumni in Kazakhstan. We hope that this programme will prove beneficial for the participants, whether it is to grow their income, start a new business, access new funding opportunities, or hold networking events. We were happy to see some inspiring women entrepreneurs," said Yernur Rysmagambetov.
The U.S. promotes the empowerment of women globally and in Central Asia. Mr. Mark Pannell, Senior Advisor and the Director of Operations of the Office of Global Women’s Issues, U.S. Department of State, delivered the remarks on behalf of Ms. Rachel Vogelstein, Senior Advisor of the White House Gender Policy Council:
“Thanks for inviting me and providing the opportunity to share with you the progress of our work towards the equal future for all women and girls. I look forward to strengthening our collaboration and welcoming your thoughts on opportunities of partnership on gender to advance women’s economic security, safety, and leadership.”
According to Rafik Mansour, the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) will try to expand the lineup of educational programs aimed at strengthening the representation of women entrepreneurs in the Central Asian region.
“On behalf of ECA, I wish to thank AIFC and Ambassador Ashikbayev for this collaboration with AWE, and we hope to see continued growth in Kazakhstan’s AWE program, which is a great example of how public-private partnerships and networks of ExchangeAlumni can lead to the advancement of women in entrepreneurship. We look forward to continued collaboration and partnership to grow this program in Kazakhstan and around the world.”
At the end of the roundtable, participants agreed to continue working together to empower women economically.
The Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) is an independent jurisdiction that began operations in 2018. In accordance with the 2025 Development Strategy, the key task of the AIFC is to consolidate as a universal platform connecting the countries of the EAEU, Central Asia and South Caucasus. www.aifc.kz