‘Govt enhancing women’s economic empowerment through entrepreneurship’

20Nov 2021
Felister Peter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
‘Govt enhancing women’s economic empowerment through entrepreneurship’

DEPUTY Minister in the Prime Minister's Office (Labour, Youth and Employment) Patrobas Katambi said the government has been taking a number of initiatives to promote women empowerment and entrepreneurship to have a reasonable ratio of representation in the government, community and business.

“The government has been emphasising on women to have reasonable ratio of representation at various sectors; we have established the women development bank and youth development fund to ensure they have access to financial services to scale-up their businesses,” said Katambi.

He was speaking on Wednesday evening during a reception at the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands residence in Dar es Salaam organized for the 15 women entrepreneurs who are taking part in the Dutch funded—Waendeleze project. 

Katambi commend the Netherlands embassy for supporting the government’s efforts in empowering women through the Waendeleze project which will also benefit many people direct and indirectly.

He said the project which is expected to contribute to the growth of the national economy, is in line with the national strategy on gender development initiated on 200 and the Development Vision 2025.

The government has made firm commitments that focus on alleviation of gender inequality in economy, education and training at all levels, said the Deputy Minister.

“The government appreciates the Netherlands Enterprises Agency for this project which will be part of solutions towards a better life for women and the entire population.

The 2012 National Census indicates that women comprises of more than a half of the country population, the trend which is also observed globally. Findings of various studies suggest that women are 70 per cent of the world’s population and that two-thirds are illiterate, he said.

He said: “The above statistics shows that there is a need to work hard to improve and empower women to save the society because they are mostly caretakers of children and elderly.”

Katambi added the Waendeleze project is part of solutions for the increased number of women in economic activities and that it has come at a right time and challenging moments where the debate about rule of women in business life is rapidly transforming itself. 

One of the project beneficiaries, Feddy Tesha, Managing Director at Proface Investment Ltd which processes dairy and horticultural produce, said she is working with nine groups of smallholder farmers with nearly 500 members who are supplying milk and other products to the factory.

“I source milk from these farmers; I produce fermented milk, yoghurt, soft cheeses and fresh milk. My business started in 2008 in my kitchen and has now grown in a factory which produces about 1,000 litres of milk per hour,” she said.

Feddy commended the Waendeleze project since her future plans are to expand the factory as well as markets. She said her dreams are likely to be achieved through participation in the project.

Another beneficiary, Pilly Mkaka, Pimma General Enterprises Manager said the project has come at a right time because her future plans are to expand her farms and markets.

She has employed 21 people and a good number of casual labourers who are working at her farms. She manufactures laundry soaps as well as food crops cultivation. Pilly cultivates maize, beans and rice which are sold to different markets across the country.

“I am planning to expand my farms to start planting palm trees because its fruits are used as raw materials in making laundry bar,” said Pilly, adding access to market is still a challenge as her company struggled to sell the rice produced in 2019 as well as those harvested last year.

Earlier,   Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Tanzania, Weibe de Boer said: “We believe this program fills gaps in the current landscape of business support for female led agribusinesses.”

“We will equip the women entrepreneurs with linkages to the Dutch market and the possibility to establish business partnerships to access international markets,” said Ambassador Boer.

 Waendeleze’ project is implemented by Lindam Group Limited in collaboration with Match Maker Associates and Netherland based—Crosswise Works with financial support from the Netherlands Embassy and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.