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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Training aspiring women leaders creditable project

23rd March 2012
Editorial Cartoon

Germany`s Hanns Seidel Foundation and the Centre for Good Governance and Economic Development are yet again planning to chip in with support meant to empower Tanzanian women aspiring for leadership positions.

This time around the two agencies are coming up with a series of training workshops in six centres in the country, each attracting 25 participants, beginning next month.

Those targeted as trainees are women interested in assuming leadership positions in political parties, civil society organisations and governmental representative bodies.

Much like several such workshops they have previously conducted, the upcoming five-phase training is designed to facilitate and enhance women’s participation in decision-making in line with the principles of good governance.

A critical look at the specific objectives of the workshops clearly shows the organisers means business in hinting that they are determined to help mould the expected participants into public leaders to be reckoned with.

For instance, themes to be covered include ways to cultivate and develop confidence and leadership attributes and skills, overcome gender-based hindrances, fight corruption and therefore appreciate the importance of ethical practice and behaviour, sharpening public speaking skills, and generally better coping with leadership challenges.

What participants will find a sure eye-opener will be introduction to the understanding of the political systems and processes at play in Tanzania, part of the focus being on better understanding of the Constitution and more informed appreciation of democratic principles.

We feel compelled to make these remarks because we know of numerous cases of people who have aspired or indeed vied for political and various other public positions only to realise, after having made it, that things were not as easy, smooth or enjoyable as they previously thought.

For some, reasons for the disillusionment and regrets included caring so much about the mirage of prestige going with the positions they longed that they ignored the challenges and obligations which occupying the particular positions entailed.

For others, it was simply and clearly a case of not realising that they were without the relevant political and administrative leadership attributes and therefore ought to do something about it in good time.

Yet others had the misfortune of wrongly believing that they could graduate into accomplished leaders merely thanks to the abundance of “gifts” they were born with, and therefore they had nothing to gain from expert coaching!

The thrust of the intervention by the German foundation and CGG&ED is on addressing these very shortcomings and challenges, which often leave women especially disadvantaged.

However, the two agencies can and will only do so much. We know there are many other players on the pitch, all determined to help Tanzanian women and men become better leaders, so we would be all the happier if even more join the noble crusade.

We are inspired seeing that the training programme will cover all mainland Tanzania regions, including ‘newborns’ Katavi, Njombe and Simiyu.

It’s our sincere hope that, resources allowing, the workshops will be conducted at regional rather than zonal level for greater effect.

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