US cultivates women's business partnerships

13Jan 2022
By Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
US cultivates women's business partnerships

US government authorities are seeking to facilitate the development of partnerships between women entrepreneurs in the United States and Tanzania.

Camille Richardson.

Camille Richardson,  the deputy assistant secretary of Commerce for the Middle East and Africa, convened a webinar on “Connecting with Women Entrepreneurs in Tanzania & Beyond,” billed as the eleventh session in the US campaign for women empowered leave legacies through trade and investment’ (WELLTI) coffee chat series.


Local participants at the webinar said that the Tanzania coffee chat event reflects the importance that the US Department of Commerce places on the commercial relationship between the two countries and is a follow-up to a visit by the deputy assistant secretary virtual meetings with Tanzanian officials in July 22-23 last year.

“Women entrepreneurs and innovators are an incredible resource that is ripe for business partnerships,” the cabinet official noted, asserting that the US government-sponsored exchange programs can be utilised to tap into market intelligence, access to supply chains, and identify representatives for American products in Tanzania.

During the event, a group of Tanzanian businesswomen shared market insights with more than 125 US companies interested in exploring business opportunities in the East African region.

Carol Ndosi, co-founder of the Launch-Pad (T) moderated a panel consisting of Dr. Victoria Kisyombe, founder and CEO for Sero Lease and Finance Limited (SELFINA); Miranda Naimani, founding partner for Empower, and Mercy Kitomari, founder and CEO of Notre Heritage Ltd.

The speakers highlighted the power of women entrepreneurs to create advantages for US companies entering or expanding in the Tanzanian market.

US firms are particularly well placed to tap into WELLTI due to the extensive network of alumni of exchange programs living in Tanzania and connected with others elsewhere in Africa.  This alumni network includes the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Mandela Washington Fellowship and the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE).

U.S and Tanzanian business connections run deep with over 60 years of bilateral relations, which the two countries marked last year. U.S firms currently have $1.5bn investments in Tanzania employing 2,000 people

Total trade (exports plus imports) between the U.S. and Tanzania totaled $364m in 2020, making the United States the third largest bilateral trade partner outside Africa, and fifth overall. “These trade and investment figures demonstrate the need for increased local partnerships, which Tanzanian women entrepreneurs can play a leading role,” officials noted.

Launched in January 2021, the US Department of Commerce’s WELLTI series is a platform to connect women entrepreneurs in the United States and international markets. Over the past year, this initiative has grown rapidly across the Middle East region and will culminate in an event led by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo on International Women’s Day in March at the US Dubai World Expo pavilion.

The International Trade Administration (ITA) at the US Department of Commerce is the premier resource for American companies competing in the global marketplace. ITA has more than 2,200 employees assisting US exporters in more than 100 US cities and 75 markets worldwide.