The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has launched a regional campaign to popularise a platform for women in a business known as 50 Million African Women Speak (50MAWSP). The platform is an information and networking hub for women which provides a one-stop-shop for them to start, grow and scale up their businesses and to access financial and non-financial services.
The distinctive campaign named ‘30 days of women in business’ will run on radio and social media channels over the next one month, and aims to promote the platform in Comoros, Djibouti, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Eswatini, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Seychelles, Sudan, Tunisia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe—the Member States where COMESA is implementing the 50 Million African Women Speak Project.
The campaign invites women in the region to log onto the platform at www.womenconnect.org or to download the 50MAWSP app from the Google or Apple stores. To participate, women will be required to register on the platform and to then submit short stories about their most admired businesswomen giving the reasons why, and what they would tell them if they had a chance to meet them in person. The most compelling of these submissions will be published on the platform and those who submitted them may have an opportunity to meet their role models.
The 50MAWS platform is jointly implemented by COMESA, the East African Community (EAC), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). It is funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and enables women in 38 countries in the three regional blocs to find information on how to run businesses, where to access financial services, how to create business opportunities online, and where to access training resources, among others.
The COMESA Secretary General, Her Excellency Chileshe Mpundu Kapwepwe sees the campaign as a great step in driving awareness about the platform which allows African women to engage in peer-to-peer learning, mentoring and knowledge sharing.
“I view this campaign as a catalyst in creating the much-needed push to bring more of our women to connect, network and ultimately benefit from this platform. The campaign’s appeal for women to identify and celebrate their most admired women entrepreneurs speaks to a key facet of the 50 Million African Women Speak initiative, which is facilitating support and mentorship by women for women,” Ms. Kapwepwe said.
She added, “The coincidence of the launch of this campaign with the upcoming celebration of the International Women’s Day on 8 March provides a special way for women to celebrate their social, economic, cultural and political achievements in our region.”
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is a regional economic community established by Treaty in 1994. It brings together 21 Member States with a population of more than 583 million into a cooperative framework for sustainable economic growth and prosperity through regional integration.