BOGOTA, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Women entrepreneurs are playing a "critical role" in Colombia's economic development and its transition to peace, White House adviser Ivanka Trump said on Tuesday during a visit to Bogota.
The daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump was attending a launch event for the Academy of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), a U.S. government-funded initiative aimed at reducing barriers to women's economic participation.
Colombia, long the closest U.S. ally in the region, is the first stop on a Latin American tour that will also take Trump to Paraguay and Argentina.
Forty Colombian women will initially benefit from participation in the program, said Trump, who was accompanied at the event by Colombian Vice-President Marta Lucia Ramirez.
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," 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 added.
The country's previous government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels signed a controversial peace deal in 2016, ending the group's role in five decades of conflict that have killed some 260,000 people.
The accord has faced hurdles, including unsuccessful efforts by President Ivan Duque to modify certain provisions, delays in subsidies for ex-fighters and the announcement last week by several former commanders that they would rearm.
The announcement drew condemnation from the government, the United Nations and the FARC political party, whose leadership said the majority of ex-rebels remain committed despite "difficulties and dangers."
(Reporting by Andres Rojas Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Richard Chang)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.