By Ireen Kayira
Lilongwe, February 18, Mana: Malawi has launched the 50 million business women platform which among others will help empower business women in the country.
The African Development Bank (ADB) collaborated with Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community and Economic Community of West African States through the 50 million women speak project to create a dynamic networking digital platform for women in business.
The digital platform which has been launched in Lilongwe on Thursday will connect women entrepreneurs in the country with other women in the 17 COMESA states.
Launching the platform Minister of Trade, Sosten Gwengwe said Malawian business women will be able to connect and share ideas and transact with others which will simplify business for a lot of women in Malawi.
He said the platform will contribute to the economic empowerment of women through the provision of an online platform to access information as well as help connect with one another in ways that will foster peer to peer learning, knowledge transfer and mentoring.
“It will also enable sharing of information between communities and access to trade between rural and urban areas as well across the borders,” he said.
However, the minister acknowledged that the digital literacy in Malawi is low as such he said they will make sure that the information shared on the digital platform is shared to those that cannot access it digitally.
COMESA Federation of Women Business Chapter Chair, Barbara Banda said the program will break the barriers for women in business so that there is more trade at regional level.
“We already have instruments like the simplified trade regime by COMESA where our business people, the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are allowed to export and import goods worth 2000 dollars without much hustle which means markets are opening up.
“With this digital platform now it extends the ability to do all that from your home so that you are now more secure, connect and interact and get more services,” she said.
She said the platform will help open up doors for business women in Malawi as well as those in member states.