Though many women in the world are rapidly climbing the work ladder, many still cannot reach the heights that men have reached. This is the case in Egypt but women like Dr Amany Asfour are rising to fight so that women can have access to the work they want. She wants women to be major economic contributors.

Dr Amany Asfour has had many titles over time like the President of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women, President of the Egyptian Business Women Association (EBWA), President of the Organization of Women in Trade (OWIT) Cairo Chapter, President of the African Alliance for Women Empowerment and President of the Afro-Arab Network for Women Empowerment. She has also occupied positions as the Chairwoman of Federation of Business Women Associations (FEMCOM) of Commons Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Vice Chairman of COMESA Business Council and Founder of Hatshepsut Women Business Development Center and Business for Entrepreneurs. She is also the Chairwoman of Human Resources, Science and Technology Cluster of the AU – (ECOSOCC), President of the Mediterranean Congress for Business and Professional Women and the Secretary-General of the African Society for Scientific Research and Technology.

Dr Asfour is a graduate of the Faculty of Medicine at Cairo University, she also has a Masters Degree and M.D. in Pediatrics. She lectures on Pediatrics at the National Research Center of Egypt. When she was a student she joined the private sector and after a few years, she established a company (Cairo Scientific Corporation) for medical equipment where she sells over 30 different brands of equipment.

Apart from being invested in her private business, she saw the importance of women’s economic empowerment and delved into it as she promoted entrepreneurship. In 1995 she founded the Egyptian Businesswomen’s Association where she gives guidance to women business owners. Her other works include capacity building, human resources development, and equality for girls and women in education. She also trains women and youth while promoting them in science and technology. Dr Asfour is in partnership with organizations like UN Women, UNDP, ILO, UNIDO, the African Union, the European Union, COMESA and many other Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce. Her regional program supports female entrepreneurs in Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.

Dr Amany Asfour’s Empowerment Views

As a medical practitioner, Dr Asfour showed that no matter your profession as a woman, you can impact various spheres and help women do better. From her medical field, she established her company.

She notes one reason women cannot do business is that they do not have access to capital and, this she believes that every woman should have access to. According to Dr Asfour, women should be included in formal work too, but they cannot include most of them in formal work settings and these are aspects where women should be empowered so they can overcome their fears. To her, if women are qualified, they can occupy top positions. All these under-qualifications are because of a lack of education and courage on the part of the women.

The Company

When you have a dream, you tend to look high. So what was the biggest company?…

This was the question that Dr Asfour asked herself when she thought of starting her own company. Siemens was the biggest company that came to mind and she used her academic connections to arrange a meeting with the area director of Siemens for Africa and the Middle East, she pitched her company to him and promised her commitment and because of her confidence and persistence, her idea pulled through. She researched her competitors and with this, she put together a business plan then she went back to the area director and came back with a deal.

How she started conceiving the idea of her medical equipment company when she met some medical equipment companies to sponsor a big international conference. Her company is named Cairo Scientific Corporation.

Dr Amany Asfour is a woman who has never been discriminated against as she is well educated and has a great deal of confidence. Hence, she spares no effort in trying to help other women acquire this so that they can also live in a world where they enjoy equality. She teaches women how to do business, register it and start their own companies. The organizations she forms are global because she believes that if women are exposed to global networks and connections they will have more doors open for them to thrive.


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