Minister commends women empowerment efforts

Women Affairs, Community, Small to Medium Enterprises minister Monica Mutsvangwa touring stands at the Open Market Day and Exhibition in Bulawayo recently

Women Affairs, Community, Small to Medium Enterprises minister Monica Mutsvangwa has commended the women empowerment partnership between Ecobank Zimbabwe and the Organisation of Women in International Trade (OWIT) Zimbabwe.

Speaking at the Open Market Day and Exhibition hosted by the two organisations in partnership with her ministry at Large City Hall in Bulawayo recently, Mutsvangwa welcomed the progressive partnership, which started last year and urged stronger ties between the two partners towards wholesome women emancipation.

“Women empowerment is good family, community as well as national development and it gives my ministry and the government of Zimbabwe great pleasure to witness such progressive and noble partnerships aimed at empowering and capacitating women in enterprise,” she said.

“I salute the good work being done by Ecobank through their Elevate programme in partnership with the Organisation of Women in International Trade and it is my hope that the iniatiative is taken to all corners of the country as we continue entrenching excellence, leaving no one and no place behind.”

Coming a few days after the month-long commemoration of women’s aspirations and the struggle for their empowerment, the Bulawayo edition of the Open Market Day, which started last year September in Harare was attended by close to 200 exhibitors and attended by various progressive Zimbabweans from around Bulawayo and beyond.

OWIT Zimbabwe president Buhlebenkosi Ostlea Nyathi thanked the ministry, the event sponsor Ecobank Zimbabwe and all the progressive women in business who participated in the event highlighting that a lot more lies in store for women in trade under her organisation’s auspices.

“This annual and national showcase which is sponsored by Ecobank Zimbabwe through their Ellevate initiative is ably supported by the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small to Medium Enterprises Development and it started last year with the first event held at Ecobank Borrowdale gardens, drawing over 100 women exhibitors,” she said.

“I, therefore, salute all the exhibitors and guests who have taken time to participate and witness this amazing business showcase which has given our women an opportunity to show up and be counted through presenting their skill, innovation and intelligence in the world of enterprise,.

While competing needs always outweigh available resources, Nyathi said they were grateful to their partners Ecobank Zimbabwe for the show of confidence and continued support for ongoing OWIT Zimbabwe Women Empowerment initiatives.

“All the good that we are witnessing from our women in enterprise today would not be possible had it not been for the financial and technical support that we received from our partners Ecobank Zimbabwe through their Ellevate by Ecobank women empowerment vehicle,” she said.

“We are grateful for this invaluable support towards this women empowerment initiative and we hope for continued synergies as we take this initiative across Zimbabwe at the same time introducing other capacity development programmes for women in business.

“The goal is to entrench excellence and productivity which in turn promotes economic growth in Zimbabwe.”

The OWIT president also saluted the Women Affairs, Community to Small Enterprises Development ministry +as well as Mutsvangwa.

“My gratitude also goes to the parent ministry, which has continued to give us invaluable support over the years,” she said.

“The minister was with us at the Harare edition last year and she is with us again this year as we continue with this women empowerment drive.

“We are grateful to the government of Zimbabwe for designing programmes and systems that allow all progressive Zimbabweans and organisations to effectively complement government development programmes without any hindrance.

“It is through such partnerships that we will empower our communities and make our country a shining example in the fight for gender justice and equality through tailor made empowerment programmes.”

Ecobank Zimbabwe said they were happy to play their part in developing the capacity of women to achieve excellence and productivity in all their pursuits through their Elevate initiative.

“As Ecobank Zimbabwe, we have the Elevate programme specifically designed to financially include women,” the bank said in a statement.

“This programme answers to the RBZ requirements, but it’s also coming from our own conviction as a community driven organisation and a caring brand.

“The Bulawayo Open market day and exhibition is thus a welcome development in our women empowerment pursuits.

“We believe in the power and potential of women and we are proud to have a women-specific desk at Ecobank Zimbabwe so that we are better positioned to assist women in their pursuit of personal and business growth.

“This is our way of giving back to the community and supporting national development.”

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