Commonwealth Business Women (Malawi Chapter) recently brought together about 100 women in business and various organisations that support businesswomen to champion the cause of women entrepreneurship.
The event was organised by the Department for International Development (DfID), Dzuka Africa, Belle Afrique and Mzuzu Entrepreneurs Hub as partners, and was hosted at the British High Commissioner’s residence in Lilongwe.
British High Commissioner, Holly Tett said it made economic sense to trade within the Commonwealth.
“It is what is called the Commonwealth Advantage. It is exciting to see CBW Malawi chapter being formed, which has a dedicated leadership that is hungry to support women and help them grow their businesses for the country’s prosperity. As well as doing trade within and across borders, the network will give women a voice with policy makers to ensure that women entrepreneurship has a better environment and greater practices,” Tett said.
Dineo Mkwezalamba, CBW Malawi director said the local chapter was launched with a focus on 21 sectors aimed at economically empowering 441 women and would focus on trade, training and talent in the first year.
“We will work with the rest of the Commonwealth countries across the globe with a big focus on tapping into Africa’s vast resource pool. We will create access to information, markets and finance with partnerships across all Commonwealth countries”, she said.
One of CBW Malawi ambassadors, Ngabaghila Chatata who envisions a Malawi that is able to produce and export high quality fruits and vegetables said she would work on profiling the country’s horticultural industry.
On her part, through the CBW network, Wangiwe Kambuzi aligned with investors from TX Foundation to construct a multimillion kwacha secondary school in Chikwina, Nkhata Bay whose construction is underway. She will champion the education and career molding sector for the Malawi Chapter.
Championing the finance and banking sector for the network, Towera Jalakasi is already working with women entrepreneurs on Women Investment Cooperative (Winco) which will lead to the establishment of women investment cooperative bank and improve women’s access to finances.
Speaking at the launch, Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Jean Kalilani said CBW Malawi is a great move that will empower women through economic collaboration and she pledged the ministry’s support through CBW Malawi’s initiatives.
CBW Africa was launched at the end of 2017 across Africa as a strategic regional partner to Commonwealth business women, working towards women economic empowerment and leadership and connecting businesswomen in Africa to the Commonwealth world.
It is the only accredited membership organisation that is recognised by the 52 official Commonwealth governments across the five continents for women economic empowerment.