- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 3, 2019

White House adviser Ivanka Trump helped to launch a U.S.-funded initiative supporting women entrepreneurs in Colombia on Tuesday as part of her three-nation tour of South America.

At an event in Bogota with Colombian Vice President Marta Lucia Ramirez, Ms. Trump said the new Academy of Women Entrepreneurs will help to reduce barriers to women’s participation in the economy.

The academy is “designed to equip women with the practical skills they need to create sustainable businesses and to participate more fully in the global economy,” Ms. Trump said.

“This is particularly important in Colombia where women play an increasingly critical role in the country’s economic development and continued transition to peace,” she said.

Colombia is the first stop on her tour, which also will take her to Argentina and Paraguay to promote the administration’s Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, established in February. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan and other U.S. officials also are participating in the trip.

Organizers expect 40 Colombian women to benefit from the academy initially.

“We need women taking active part in all the roles of leadership,” said Ms. Ramirez, the nation’s first female vice president. “The world needs women partaking in the world economy … including in sectors traditionally led by men.”

Ms. Trump also visited police cadets at the General Santander Police Academy, where 22 cadets were killed in a terror attack earlier this year. Six of the victims had received U.S. government scholarships.

The country struck a peace deal with rebels in 2016 after decades of conflict, but several former commanders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia [FARC] rebels announced last week that they would rearm.

The Inter-American Development Bank Group and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation have announced the creation of the first gender-focused fund for Latin America and the Caribbean. Ms. Trump revealed Tuesday that three funds combined for the program will total about $600 million, tripling the initial target.

The program is aimed at reducing the gender gap for financing in Latin America and the Caribbean by supporting women-owned businesses, female entrepreneurs, and firms that generate jobs or consumer products for women.

⦁ This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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