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South Africa: Still Far Too Few Women in Electricity Sector – Official

August 4, 2015

Originally posted on AllAfrica


Women still play a miniscule role in the electricity sector 21 years into the new democratic dispensation, according to Johannesburg City Power managing director Sicelo Xulu. Xulu, who also serves as the Association of Municipal Electricity Undertakings (AMEU) president, said he has launched an initiative to boost the role of women in the male-dominated sector as the industry is one of the least transformed in the country.

“It is unacceptable that 21 years into the new democratic dispensation, women still play a miniscule role in such a critical sector which is the driving force of economic growth. Women in Electricity will be a programme that needs to be driven by women for women’s advancement,” said Xulu in a statement.

 According to official statistics women constitute a negligible number of professionals in the sector, accounting for a paltry 5% of the total complement of professionals. African females are less represented and make up a marginal percentage of the aggregate female population in the sector.

Xulu said the Women in Electricity initiative will be outlining an action plan that has programmes, a scorecard and targets to ensure that the acceleration of women in the electricity industry is realised.

In addition, the initiative will work closely with the AMEU, institutions of higher learning and utilities to provide internships to female apprentices with the right skills sets.

“Driving transformation and fast-tracking women’s advancement in the sector is a collective undertaking that requires all the role players to play their part to ensure that women participation in the sector is meaningful and is enhanced.

“I am delighted that the AMEU and the industry have shown leadership and put in place the building blocks upon which this lofty ideal will be realised,” says Xulu.

Heritage Bank pledges support for female entrepreneurs

August 4, 2015

By Odo Onyeka originally posted on NationalMirror

Ifie-Sekibo-CEO-Heritage-BankMr. Ifie Sekibo CEO of Heritage Bank 

Heritage Bank has again assured female entrepreneurs in the country of its willingness to partner with them to strengthen their role as major drivers of national economic growth. National economic growth, the bank observes, can only be achieved where the role of women as co-pilots in the economic management of a nation, as refined major stakeholders in the society, as silent driving force in any country and as lives shapers, is fully recognized.

Speaking at the 2015 edition of the Role of Women in Emerging African Democracies ,ROWEAD, roundtable in Lagos, Group Head, Manilla Banking, Heritage Bank, Babajide Adetowubo, said the Bank sponsored and partnered with ROWEAD on the Roundtable Initiative as a demonstration of its commitment to supporting female entrepreneurs to change the economic landscape of the nation.

Mr. Adetowubo also explained that the previous administration at the federal level had set out to empower women through the setting up of a special fund by the Central Bank of Nigeria to build SMEs. “This fund is about women empowerment, to support women entrepreneurs; those who want to start up a business or women that have existing businesses and want them to grow”.

He added that Heritage Bank Nigeria has continued to partner with CBN to ensure funds are disbursed appropriately to their beneficiaries. He promised that the recent acquisition of Enterprise Bank would further give Heritage Bank more coverage to be able to deliver more on its core values.

“Under the leadership of a team with outstanding talent and high performance consistency, Heritage Bank is poised to further demonstrate its commitment to ensuring wealth creation, preservation and transfer across generations, especially through stronger partnership with female entrepreneurs who are the engine room of national economic growth”, he stated.

Uganda: Museveni Tips Women On Wealth Creation

August 3, 2015

By Lilian Namagembe originally posted on AllAfrica


Entebbe — Ensuring food security and enough income through cost-effective wealth creation projects will help to fight household poverty in rural areas, President Museveni has said. The president made the remarks while meeting a delegation of Amolatar Women Informal Enterprising Group, at State House, Entebbe on Tuesday.

Museveni advised the women from Amolatar District to look at wealth creation as a sustained campaign and to choose cost-effective enterprises such as livestock and poultry rearing, coffee and fruit production that can give them food security and income.

 “You should know what you can do at your home that can make you earn more money and also have food security,” the President emphasised.
The delegation was led by State minister for Micro finance Ms Caroline Amali Okao, who is also the Amolatar woman MP.

The President also pledged Shs288 million towards the completion of various grain- milling machines in the district. In turn, the women pledged their total support to President Museveni as their sole candidate in the forthcoming presidential elections.

On job creation, the President urged parents to support their children to acquire skills that empower them to get employment. “Education that enables one to speak English is good, but you must have skills in order to get jobs. Get skills that society wants or can buy easily. Skills are a form of wealth as they enable people to get jobs and empower one to be wealthy,” he said.

He also urged Ugandans against consumption of alcohol and immoral life styles that abuse one’s health, saying health is God-given wealth.

Tanzania: Graft, Election Costs Hamper Women’s Political Participation

August 3, 2015

By Lawrence Raphaely originally posted on AllAfrica

Dr Ave Maria SemakafuDr. Ave Maria Semakafu speaking at Symposium organised by United Nations Women in Tanzania 

Corruption and election costs are attributed as major obstacles hampering women’s participation in politics, it has been revealed. “There’s an urgent need to address the two obstacles of corruption and election expenses so that the political ground becomes levelled for all groups in the society to play the game,” a university official said in Dar es Salaam.

Dr Ave Maria Semakafu, who is coordinator of the Tanzania Women Cross-Party Platform (TWCPP), told leaders from 22 political parties that women and people with special needs have expressed concern that given the current political situation in the country where money is a determining factor in elections, it is difficult for the poor to seek elective offices.

 Dr Semakafu said this at a symposium organised by United Nations Women in Tanzania to discuss results of a capacity building training that was conducted to motivate 2030 women, youth and the disabled from 19 political parties who declared to contest various positions in the October 25 elections.

“With the current political situation, it is very difficult for the marginalised like women or even youth to compete with tycoons and win election because even the election costs for the party endorsement are very high,” she said.

She said in some political parties the nomination forms are too expensive even if the contestant has the required qualifications.

 “It’s high time we level the playground so that all the groups in the society can participate in elections and have equal representation,” Dr Semakafu said.

On his part, the chairman of the United People’s Democratic Party (UPDP) Fahmi Dovutwa, said there is growing awareness among women in contesting various positions in the coming general election.

“Women might be awake in contesting various positions in the general elections although the hurdle is lack of funds,” he said.

ACT-Wazalendo Secretary General Samson Mwigamba said in every general election there is an increase in the number of women seats, but the journey for political participation is still difficult.

“Women empowerment should remain to be a sustainable goal until women are capable of competing with men. This is possible if all of us are committed,” he observed.

Kenya: Two-Thirds Bill Moves Closer to Becoming Law

August 1, 2015

By Oliver Mathenge originally posted on TheStar

12 (1)

KENYA will have more women in the next Parliament in a move that will increase the MPs to an unknown number. This follows the publication of a bill to amend the constitution to help the country achieve the two-thirds gender rule. According to the bill whose publication period was reduced to six days from 14 yesterday, ‎the constitution will be amended to provide for a number of nominated seats necessary to ensure no gender occupies more than two-thirds of Parliament.

The bill tabled yesterday also stipulates that one cannot be nominated for the special seats for more than two terms.

It says the provision for the special seats will lapse 20 years after the 2017 elections.

“It is hoped by that time, both genders will have been given a level playing field and will be able to compete on an equal plane,” the memorandum of objects and reasons reads.

The constitution does not stipulate the formula through which the two-thirds principle should be achieved.

It leaves it to the state to put in place a law for the purpose.

The bill introduces new clauses to Articles 97 and 98 to alter the composition of the National Assembly and the Senate.

“The composition of the National Assembly (Senate) comprises of the number of special seat members necessary to ‎ensure no more than two-thirds of the membership of the National Assembly (Senate) is of the same gender,” the new clause says.

The bill also introduces new clauses to Articles 97 and 98 to ensure the special seats are allocated proportionate to the number of seats won by a political party, determined after a general election.

Moving a motion to reduce the bill’s publication period, majority leader Aden Duale said the National Assembly will seek the extension of the August 27 deadline for the bill’s enactment.

The law requires that a bill for amending the constitution awaits 90 days before it can come up for debate after the first reading.

This means the bill can only be debated after October 30, which is past the August 27 deadline.

To extend the deadline, the National Assembly will require two-thirds of the MPs, the same number required to pass the bill.

Women leaders have been urging for the bill’s enactment.

The bill was committed to the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, which will invite public participation before it is brought to the House for debate.


Focus On Gender – Reliable Data Can Erode Inequality

August 1, 2015

By Marcus Rose originally posted on SciDev



UNESCO has just launched a global project targeted at the gender gap in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects. The initiative, known as SAGA (STEM and Gender Advancement), will address the lack of data on women in STEM – a dearth that restricts the design and monitoring of policies to address gender equality. By developing new indicators and methods to measure and assess sex-disaggregated data on women’s participation and the barriers they face, SAGA hopes to help reduce the gender gap at all levels of education and research.

The launch comes a few months after a Washington Post article revived debates about ‘zombie statistics’ on women, agriculture, labour and land ownership, such as “women produce 60 to 80 per cent of the world’s food”. Such figures are kept alive by continual referencing in research papers and interviews on the subject, and are even used as the basis for funding requests or policy decisions – but, on closer inspection, no one knows where they come from. Like zombies, this dubious data refuses to die.

 Its persistence points to another major problem: reliable and meaningful global and comparative figures for women’s participation in labour markets and agriculture tend to be few and far between.

This is also the case with women in science, technology and innovation. International organisations have made attempts to amalgamate the data collected by different countries and regions to produce sex-disaggregated comparative figures for different places. For example, the highly respected SHE figures – published every three years by the European Commission – maps data on women in STEM across Europe. [1] And the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), in partnership with WISAT (Women in Global Science and Technology), has spent the past few years mapping gender-sensitive data on important ‘knowledge society’ issues, including science and technology, in different countries. Assessments on four African countries – Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda – took place in 2015.

What is interesting is that both projects attempt to tease out the social and cultural factors that might affect women’s participation in sciences, as well as the basic quantitative data about the number of PhDs and so on. The SHE figures for 2012 measured new indicators including work-life balance. [1] And the OWSD/WISAT project uses new indicators of health, economic and social status to assess the barriers women face.

But, of course, the best outcome would be if countries – especially developing ones – could collect and provide statistics themselves, rather than global organisations doing this. If countries gathered gender-disaggregated statistics and used an agreed set of indicators, this would make comparisons more straightforward and meaningful.

 This is where the UNESCO SAGA project could prove transformative. And there are regional projects to complement this work. Last week, campaigning organisation GenderInSITE organised a workshop in Zimbabwe on mapping gender in science, innovation, technology and engineering policy and governance in Africa. It brought together many African women and men involved in science and gender policy, as well as international participants, including myself, via video conference. One objective was to agree on indicators for collecting data on gender in nine African countries, as part of the African Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators programme.

Data collection is, of course, only the start of the story. Data must be analysed, translated and presented. Then it can provide a solid basis for demanding change in closing the gender gap and for seeking funding to do this.

Tonya Blowers is programme coordinator for the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World. Previously she was a staff writer at TWAS (The World Academy of Sciences) and has developed science communication courses for PhD students. She can be contacted at


[1] SHE figures 2012 (European Commission, 2012)

Women Must Empower Themselves – Deputy Minister

July 31, 2015

By Genevieve Quintal originally posted on News24


South Africa progressed beyond the stage where women need to ask for emancipation, Deputy Arts and Culture Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi said on Thursday. They do, however, need to empower themselves to thrive across the economic landscape, she said.

She was speaking at the launch of Women’s Month at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

 “Women must continue to play a lead role in eradicating poverty and stimulating sustainable development of our economy,” she said in a copy of her speech prepared for the event.

“As we seek to transform the economic conditions in our land, we must also remember we are not doing this for ourselves, but for generations to come. That is why it is important that we pass the baton to the young women of South Africa.”

The theme of this year’s women’s month was “Women United in Moving South Africa Forward”.

Mabudafhasi said the theme was built around socio-economic empowerment issues, where the country will see women playing an active role in their own empowerment and by extension in the empowerment of their society.

“We must afford young people opportunities to learn, acquire skills and contribute meaningfully to the development of our society,” she said.

“I am proud that over the past 21 years South Africa increased the access of girls to education, initiated bursaries and training programmes for young women and allocated funds for women entrepreneurs.”

 Inspiration to women

Mabudafhasi said it was encouraging to see women such as African Union commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in high positions. This was an inspiration to women across the continent.

She also welcomed the AU’s declaration that 2010 to 2020 would be the “African Women’s Decade”.

Political activist Sophie de Bruyn, who led the historic Women’s March of 20 000 women to the Union Buildings on August 9, 1956 to protest against them being forced to carry passes, will also be attending Thursday’s event, along with Minister of Women Susan Shabangu.

De Bruyn, who led the march with activists Lilian Ngoyi, Rahima Moosa, Helen Joseph and Albertina Sisulu, is the only surviving member of this group of stalwarts.

In 2016, South Africa would be marking 60 years since the Women’s March.

“This historic moment provides us with a critical opportunity to take a retrospective look at the road that we have travelled, assess the progress, and position women’s empowerment at the centre of the country’s and global agenda,” said Mabudafhasi.

She called on government, business and civil society to work together to move African women forward.

Classrooms vital in improving girls’ education

July 31, 2015

By Deogratias Mushi originally posted on DailyNewsudarasa_300_188

IN May, this year, I attended the climax of Education Week in Dodoma, where President Jakaya Kikwete insisted that ward secondary schools countrywide stand a better chance of recording outstanding results in the national examinations, if they solve some of the problems they face.

One of the problems that the president called for the ministry of Education and Vocational Training to address was the need to build enough classrooms in these schools, to enable students to study comfortably and avoid the temptation of dodging classes because the learning environment is not conducive.

To demonstrate how these schools can improve performance, President Kikwete gave an example of Igowole Secondary School in Mufindi District, Iringa Region, which emerged among the best performers in the 2014 Advanced Certificate of Secondary Education Examination (ACSEE) results.

He emphasised the need for more efforts to sustain the good pace, urging education authorities in the country and the management of ward schools to build enough classrooms that accommodate all students, creating an environment that helps them to study comfortably.

Such schools have been facing some problems which hinder students from attending classes effectively, especially girls and that is why organisations like Tanzania Media Women Association (TAMWA) has launched a campaign to make sure those girls are assisted to attend class without problems.

According to TAMWA’s outgoing Executive Director, Ms Valerie Msoka, girls studying in ward schools are discouraged from continuing with their studies especially when they don’t have enough classrooms or enough desks to sit on while following what the teacher says.

It is in such circumstances that girls in ward secondary schools can be tempted to establish relationships with bodaboda drivers who eventually make them pregnant, thus ending their dreams to acquire further education.

Recently, there was an advert sponsored by TAMWA which was running on some TV stations, portraying a girl who, because of abject poverty and poor learning environment, is offered a ride by a man riding a motorbike and after some days, she gets pregnant, then she starts crying without knowing what to do.

These are some of the issues that the society needs to address when struggling to look for solutions facing girls studying in such schools. Surrounding villages are called upon to contribute some money to construct enough classrooms.

Decision makers need to understand that inadequate and unreliable learning environment for girl students in various cities and towns in Tanzania has been one of the chronic problems which hinder their academic progress.

It also causes some other social problems such as poor academic performance, teen pregnancies and other delinquencies such as students fighting with daladala conductors.

Girl students take many risks including getting punished when they are late, as well as personal safety, as they have to wake up very early and come home very late.

The community at large should encourage them to continue with their studies, while efforts to build enough classrooms are progressing.

It is undeniable fact that such students study with divided attention, as they are unable to follow up their teachers because they are at times crowded in one learning lecture hall.

When it rains in some schools, things get worse because some classrooms lack windows. In some ward schools, students lack adequate time and motivation for doing their homework and doing their personal academic revision, simply because they do not have decent areas to carry out such activities.

Poor nutrition and health among school-girls contribute to the inefficiency of their educational system. Girls and generally students with diminished cognitive abilities and sensory impairments naturally perform less well and are more likely to repeat grades and to drop out of school than children who are not impaired.

If classrooms have better facilities, they can help students perform better. Decision makers also need to understand that there is a persistent decline in Science, Mathematics and English subjects performance to girl students in ward schools.

Poor performance in the Form Four national examinations in the last two years reveals that most of the ward secondary schools students and especially girls do not have adequate teaching and learning resources including competent teachers.

There is a need to take radical measures of ensuring that there is adequate investment in ward secondary schools to avoid such performance in future.

Parents, with whom the government shares responsibility in running ward schools at times complain that they are too poor to put in an extra buck for the schools.

However, as good citizens, ward school challenges are a burden for everyone as they are an alternative for thousands of boys and girls who would otherwise be loitering after missing a chance to proceed to secondary school.

In the world of modern communications technology, most ward schools where girls study are deprived of the many benefits of the information including access to TV, radio newspapers and others.

Nobody talks about current affairs and the world seems to begin and end in the ward where a school stands. Is anyone interested in hiring these youth who have subsequently dropped out of school? Where do these thousands of boys and girls go?

Once those pertinent questions are answered, we might agree that by introducing a different mode of learning, even if it means cutting the schools off from the ‘O’ Level curriculum, a new dawn for a prosperous future would be ushered in.

A ward school can be a centre of excellence, post primary or polytechnic for agromechanics, agriculture and animal husbandry, carpentry, tailoring, business entrepreneurship, food and nutrition, masonry, ICT, etc.

Certainly, students will like the set-up as exams will be based on what is actually taught. In the end, everyone who finishes from these schools goes home with a certificate that could help them get employed or they could settle for self employment.

To start with, model schools may be set up with the aid of district councils where all development money is poured into by the central government.

Then parents will be asked to participate as such projects are supposed to be of benefit to their children. All this comes as a second thought for ward schools which are absorbing thousands of youth but with very little or no viable end results.

Tanzanians are talented. The youth will be meaningful to the nation only when we accept constructive criticisms and adapt to changes.

It is encouraging to note that following the public outcry over lack of hostels in Community (ward) Secondary Schools, the Tanzania Education Authority (TEA) has decided to throw its weight into constructing the facility for female students.

Though the initiative started way back in 2011, the authority has stated that the programme would continue up to 2015 whereby a total of Sh 2.3 billion is expected to be raised and spent to accomplish the need.

TEA Information and Communication Manager Sylvia Lupembe, was quoted recently saying that the amount to be raised would also benefit other educational institutions, including those serving people with disability and teachers colleges.

Almost 80 per cent of the TEA activities is driven to ward secondary schools which are remotely located in the vicinity of the urban centres and the aim is to focus female hostels.

However, she stated other problems are that most female students do not get enough time for studies if they stay at home as they are kept busy with their parents to contend with some domestic work.

Another reasons she cited is the increased pregnancies which leads many of them to drop out from schools, she said in an exclusive interview when asked by this reporter who wanted to know why have they mostly concentrated on women and she said that, for the last three years, TEA has financed 119 schools and institutions with the educational facilities which include teaching materials and other learning materials.

So far, TEA has spent over 1.9 billion shillings to support the purchase of the tools and supplied them to the respective colleges and schools, a move that helped to solve some of the problems faced.

NFNV to Influence More Women Entrepreneurs

July 30, 2015

By Susan Babijja originally posted on Focus

The-Chairperson-NFNV-Monique-Nsanzabaganwa-while-addressing-people-during-the-workshopThe Chairperson NFNV Monique Nsanzabaganwa while addressing people during the workshop

New Faces New Voices Rwanda chapter (NFNV) a Pan-African advocacy group that focuses on expanding the role and influence of women in the financial sector held a two day workshop for women from different professions mainly business at Lemigo Hotel.

The workshop training, based on training in financial freedom was  facilitated by Centonomy, a company that trains individuals and corporations on various aspects of personal finance that are in line with their financial goals with the aim of leading them to financial freedom.

The workshop targeted at least 100 women senior professionals, established entrepreneurs and young emerging entrepreneurs with the aim of unlocking their potential in personal financial management.

In an Interview with the Rwanda Focus, the chairperson of NFNV Rwandan chapter, Dr Monique Nsanzabaganwa, said the training will reach out to participants in six categories.

“The training will reach out to participants who are grouped in six categories; members of cooperatives, informal micro enterprise owners, with lower income, junior and mid-level professionals, young emerging entrepreneurs, senior professionals and even established entrepreneurs,” she said

She said that NFNV started with 18 founding members but aims to have 300,000 women members and majority will be from rural areas.

“We want to make a big impact on investment opportunities in Rwanda as well as in people’s lives. We hold these trainings so that the trainees can impact other women. We hope that since NFNV is a public company, people will buy shares and invest in various areas that can benefit our children as well as the country,” she said.

She added that, if people come together, we realize we have similar problems this can help in solving such risks associated with business.

Shivon Byamukama company secretary Bank of Kigali said, the people who get salaries should know how to plan for it and know how to spend it so that they can get something more out of their salary

“If you are a salary earner, you have to know what you’re spending, women has to know about finance because they play a big role in their homes and families. Women are generally entrepreneurs; once you start investing together it brings bigger income,” she said

Eve Tushabe Muvunyi a business woman who was once an employee and decided to start her own business said if business is to be analyzed, you’ll find there are similar problems.

“Businesses differ but whenever we come together it can help us make it in business and when you move around you find that we have similar challenges that need to be solved by none but ourselves,” she said

She added, if you’re starting a business, you have to network  and match your skills with the kind of business you’re in.

New Faces New Voices Rwandan chapter (NFNV) is a pan-African organization of professional women in business and finance mobilized to promote change in the financial sector to ensure Africa benefits from the untapped economic resource represented by women.

Their purpose is to advocate for innovative investment in Rwandan women, ensuring they take centre-stage, adding their value and influence in the financial sector and the economy.

More women pick nomination forms in Isles

July 30, 2015

By Issa Yusuf originally posted on DailyNews

vuainew_300_200Mr. Vuai




A TOTAL of 1,322 members of Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), majority being women, have applied to be considered for nomination to vie for various positions in the forthcoming general election. “This has been good, women can now challenge men,” Mr Vuai Ali Vuai, Deputy Secretary General, said in a press statement, mentioning that 699 women applied against 623 men for political leadership.

He said that 378 applied to vie for Member of Parliament (Union), 358 House of Representatives (HR), 289 councillor, and 297 women special seats.

Mr Vuai said in his statement that out of the applicants, 156, 137, and 109 women applied to stand in respective constituencies for MP, HR, and Councillor, respectively.

The Deputy Secretary General commended all members particularly women for picking up forms to apply for nomination, saying gender balance in elections has been growing and justice will prevail in all stages of nomination.

Elections for Special seats are over, while applicants for MP, HR, and Councillors are now finalizing their campaigns to woo voters in CCM branches before party-primary elections scheduled for August 01, 2015.

Free State Celebrates Women’s Day in Sasolburg, 9 Aug

July 29, 2015

Press release Originally posted on AllAfrica

wdWomen of all races march to Union Buildings to protest against discriminatory pass laws-9 August 1956

National Women’s Day to be celebrated in the Free State

This year’s National Women’s Day will be celebrated in Sasolburg, Free State, on August 9, 2015. To commemorate this historic day, about 20 000 women from all 9 provinces will take part in a historic rally in Sasolburg under the theme: “Women united in moving South Africa forward.”

The rally, which is part of the build-up towards the 60th celebration of the 1956 Women’s March, will highlight the challenges that women continue to face, while taking stock of significant advances made since the dawn of democracy.

On 9 August 1956, about 20 000 women of all races marched to the Union Buildings to protest against the discriminatory pass laws which had restricted the movement of black people in the country. This march has been celebrated since 1995 as Women’s Day, to recognise the important and significant role that political activism by women played during the struggle for liberation against colonisation and apartheid.

As part of Women’s Day celebrations, the President of the Republic, Jacob Zuma, will release the first Status of Women Report. It was compiled by the Department of Women after hosting dialogues between the months of March and June 2015, across the country in a bid to assess the current status of women

This year’s Women’s Month – celebrated throughout the month of August – is taking place against the backdrop of the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter this year, and the Women’s Charter in 2014.

 This year’s national celebrations are all the more significant because the African Union has prioritised women empowerment by declaring 2015 as the “Year of Women Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063.”

“It is welcome that the National Women’s Day celebrations will take place in the Free State, a Province which determinedly continues to prioritise women empowerment in all spheres of life”, said the Premier of the Free State. “This becomes pertinently evident in the current makeup of our Executive Council. Out of ten MECs, five are strong capable women, and this goes to show that as we celebrate 60 years of the Freedom Charter, South Africa has indeed changed for the better.”

Details of the event are as follows:

Date: Sunday, 9 August 2015

Time: 8h00

Venue: Harry Gwala Multipurpose, Sasolburg (Free State Province)

Kenya: Women Big Winners in Global Summit

July 29, 2015

Originally posted on DailyNation

DNAkiraChics2402vAkirachix co-founders from left Angela Oduor-Lungati, Marie Githinji, Judith Owigar and Linda Kamau at their office on Ngong Road in Nairobi in on February 24, 2015. Women were the biggest beneficiaries of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, which ended on Sunday in Nairobi.

Women were the biggest beneficiaries of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, which ended on Sunday in Nairobi. The United States State Department, the Global Entrepreneurship Network and two foundations have set up a venture exchange for women in Nairobi and Kampala.

The Women’s Venture Xchange-Africa, created during the GES Youth + Women event, will support the women for a month in the two cities where they are expected to develop their business more rapidly through collaboration and access to a new entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The entrepreneurs will be supported by the Mara Mentors, the Global Entrepreneurship Network community and the Case Foundation while in a host city.

Four women will get the first chance to build their businesses in the pilot programme which will be extended across Africa.

“I had access to these opportunities as an entrepreneur learning the ropes in East Africa and I want young entrepreneurs to have even more which enable them to build thriving businesses,” said Mr Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group and the Mara Foundation.


The initiative will serve as an exchange and mentorship programme for women, leveraging well-established networks in more than 35 countries to scale the programme rapidly throughout the continent.

The Mara Mentors will also seek to mentor more than a million youth and women entrepreneurs in East Africa. The mentorship programme seeks to encourage sharing of ideas and knowledge between East African entrepreneurs and experienced professionals across the world.

Mara aims to empower 1 million youth and women entrepreneurs in the region by the year 2020 through mentorship and financing to enable them create and grow successful businesses.

 “For entrepreneurs at the start of their life, a real obstacle to growth is the fear of failure. The best way to overcome this fear is to access mentorship from real business experts who have gone through the same experiences.

We aim to help build the entrepreneurship ecosystem which consists of mentorship, access to finance and government policies,” said Mr Thakkar, Founder of Mara Group and Mara Foundation.

Angola: Minister hails progress on combating poverty among women

July 28, 2015

Originally posted on AllAfrica
The minister, who was speaking at the opening of the 10th session of the Multi-Sectorial Gender Council (CMG) organized by the Ministry of Family and Women Promotion, under the theme “Empowering women is to promote gender equality and equity, towards sustainable development”, stressed that in this field there is majority participation of women, with the incentive of developing small and medium companies, as well as access to basic social services, including education and health, mainly in the rural areas.

According to the official, it is observable in the country in terms of Women ascension, results in decision-making posts and their membership “in areas considered traditionally for men, so as to reduce asymmetries in relations between women and men”.

The event aims to analyze and discuss the remaining gaps in socio-economic, political and cultural development of women and men, which are impeding factors for their active participation in the country’s development process and identify strategic ways of solving them.

The opening ceremony was attended by ministers, state secretaries, MPs, religious leaders and other guests.

Tanzania: Tarime Looks Set to Have Woman MP

July 28, 2015

By Ambrose Wantaigwa originally posted on DailyNews

EMATIKOEsther Matiko 



Tarime — Tarime District is set to have a woman parliamentarian if opinion polls for the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and the opposition Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) are anything to go by. The two parties have endorsed women candidates in the names of Gaudensia Kabaka (CCM) and Esther Matiko (CHADEMA) who was the Special Seats Member of Parliament for Mara Region.

 Ms Kabaka is the Minister for Labour and Employment. She is fighting to win the seat against other five CCM aspirants.

Already, the CHADEMA district assembly has endorsed Matiko as the party’s flag-bearer during the October general election.

Ms Kabaka boasts of waging a relentless battle against female genital mutilation and building Borega Girls High School. Tarime CCM District Publicity Secretary Mr Sospeter Samson said the major goal of his party is to include more women in decision making bodies.

“We want more women in decision-making bodies as a crucial step towards gender equality,” he said. Although both Tarime Urban and Rural constituencies have also attracted CCM male candidates, human rights organizations in the area advocate for the selection of a woman legislator to fight FGM.

According to Bomani Kituho, the director of Elimika non-governmental organisation operating in Tarime District, hundreds of girls have undergone the age-old practice and abandoned schooling.

“When a woman is elected, she’ll take bold measures to end the dangerous tradition which is a violation of women rights,” he said.


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