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The money is meant to empower women entrepreneurs in Tanzania by helping them to get access to the wider markets across member states of the East African Community (EAC), according to the director for TMEA’s Tanzania branch, Mr John Ulanga.
“A total of $5.3 million will be issued to empower women entrepreneurs in Tanzania in a period of six years and today,” Mr Ulanga said during a function to announce a Sh500 million funding to Tanzania Women Chamber of Commerce (TWCCIA).
The money is meant to help TWCCIA in their project on cross-border trading endeavours while the remaining Sh11.5 billion will also be issued to various women entrepreneurial groups in line with need and requirements.
Mr Ulanga said the TMEA Women and Trade (WaT) programme seeks to increase incomes and improve livelihoods for women traders and women-owned enterprises through capacity building, addressing trade barriers and advocacy for policies that will create an enabling environment for them to thrive.
He said a survey has shown that 70 per cent of cross-border businesses are done by women traders but that for a long time, they have been marginalised by a series of obstacles and barriers that range from geographical to gender and from financial to legal and exclusion.
“It is therefore important to continually advocate for balanced frameworks and policy change that will nurture the growth of women in cross border trading,” he said.
The TWCC chairperson, Ms Jacqueline Mneney Maleko, hailed the support, noting that empowering women creates a positive multiplier effect on poverty reduction, economic growth, government revenues and employment creation, among other factors.