Thursday, 2nd March 2023, Arusha, Tanzania: Officiating the 2nd African Business Women and Youth Trade Fair and Summit 2023, the Chief Guest, Hon. John Mongella, Arusha Regional Commissioner lauded Tanzania Women Empowerment Network, East African Women in Business Platform and East African Business Council for championing the agenda of empowering women and youth!
Hon. Mongella, applauded H.E. Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania for empowering women and youth in Africa who compose the majority of the population.
In his remarks, Mr. John Bosco Kalisa, CEO of EABC stated that AfCFTA is a unique agreement as it takes into account women’s and youth aspirations.
He said, inclusive and sustainable growth in Africa is anchored on the AfCFTA protocol on women and youth! 80% of beneficiaries of AfCFTA should be women and youth!
Despite the challenges of the EAC Common Market, 40% of cross-border traders are able to use EAC simplified trade regime to do business. Mr. Kalisa appealed to the Arusha Regional Commissioner to set up a market for women, youth and MMSMEs engaged in cross-border trade at Namanga.
Mr. Kalisa urged the Governments of EAC partner States to put up a better business environment for youth & women, enhance market access information on AfCFTA and translate AfCFTA documents into Swahili language and One stop center for exporting under AfCFTA. He further urged the banks to set up a venture capital fund for women and youth in East Africa.
In her opening remarks, Mrs. Florence Masunga, CEO of Tanzania Women Empowerment Network (TAWEN) said the Summit is organized under the theme Strengthening African Women and Youth Business for Sustainable Tomorrow has convened over 300 Business Women and Youth from East Africa and West Africa to discuss the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
She said “As we celebrate International Women’s Day this year our core agenda should be the AfCFTA! She lauded H.E. Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania for championing the Protocol on Women and Youth.
Mrs. Masunga called for closer collaboration among all actors in the implementation of the AfCFTA and reiterated TAWEN’s commitment to empowering women and youth to tap into opportunities of the continental market.
In her speech, Mama Thubiha Kisasi, Board Vice Chair Person TAWEN said “TAWEN is dedicated support youth and women to contribute more to economic growth.” She expounded that AfCFTA protocol on e-commerce will enable women and women to trade digitally across the continent.
On her part, Ms. Mercy Sila – Chairperson of Tanzania Women Chamber of Commerce (TWCC) and Board Member EAWiBP & EABC Goodwill Ambassador, reiterated TWWC’s commitment to collaborate with TAWEN and other associations in order to reach out to more women and youth and empower them on access to finance, markets, tender opportunities and advocacy.
The official from the East African Community, Mr. Jonathan Ssesanga said “the EAC is the fastest growing economic bloc in Africa.” He expounded that EAC is facilitating women and youth to trade across borders through the EAC simplified trade regime that has reduced customs procedures and documents.
Mr. Kalisa also explained that EABC is committed to partnering with Afreximbank to fast track implementation of the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS). He said the PAPSS is an integrated continental-wide payment infrastructure that will over-dependence on foreign currencies to the detriment of African currencies.
The 2nd African Business Women and Youth Trade Fair and Summit was sponsored by Azania Bank, Eximbank, National Bank of Commerce, UUT AMIS, NMB Bank, KCB Bank and Equity Bank.
During the summit, Hon. John Mongella, Arusha Regional Commissioner launched the Exim Bank Super Woman Account.
Business leaders at the Summit include Dr. Jacqueline Mkindi, EABC Board Member & CEO of Tanzania Horticulture Associations, Mrs. Judith Lubuva, KCB Bank and Ms. Irene Mlola, Exim Bank among others.