Women find opportunities to promote their products at Women Independence Festival

Women entrepreneurs in Mauritania found opportunities to promote their products and projects at the Women Independence Festival.

Khadija Sheikh

Mauritania- The 5th edition of the Women’s Independence Festival (WIF) was held at the Nouakchott Olympic Stadium in Mauritania from March 1 to March 8, 2024 to empower women entrepreneurs, artists and creators. NuJINHA spoke to women entrepreneurs, who participated in the festival to promote their products and projects. Somaya Mint Aziz participated in the creative market at the festival to promote her handmade decorative products such as wallpapers, jewelry boxes and incense burners. “These products are very important for Mauritanian society. You can see them at every home,” she told NuJINHA.

 ‘The festival is an opportunity for me to promote my products’

Indicating that the decorative items made by her are made by using materials easily found in Mauritania, Somaya Mint Aziz said, “My products are loved by Mauritanians. They always prefer local products, not  imported ones. I have participated in the festival twice to exhibit my products. The festival is an opportunity for me to promote and market my products.”

She makes modern accessories

Salma Adam has a project of making modern accessories by using local materials. Before she started her project, she took many courses. “Now, one of my friends is also taking courses. We aim to open a store to sell our products. Although we are affected by the high prices of materials, we want to expand our business,” she said, emphasizing that the festival means a lot to her. “Last year, I took part in a contest and won it. I received funding and support from an association to start my project.”

‘I marketed my products online’

Mauritanian designer Esty Othman graduated from university in 2020, during COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. “I decided to start my own project to gain my financial independence and avoid unemployment. Being a fashion designer was my dream and I started to realize my dream by taking simple steps such as designing abayas and accessories.” Esty Othman told us that she marketed her products online due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. “I bought fabrics, designed abayas, and sent my designs to the tailors to sew them. In time, interest and demands for my products increased. The festival was an opportunity for me to promote and market my products more. I want to open a store in the future.”