Women, youth call for quality business goods

DODOMA: WOMEN and Youth engaging in businesses in the country have been asked to present quality products so as to win the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) markets.

The Director of Trade Development in the Ministry of Trade and Industries, Mr Sempeho Manongi, issued the advise yesterday in Dodoma during the National AfCFTA Women and Youth Dialogue, organised by the Tanzania Women Chamber of Commerce (TWCC).

In concerted efforts to promote gender equality and youth empowerment in trade and business, TWCC in collaboration with the United Nations Women (UN Women) in Tanzania and Trade Mark Africa organised the dialogue which brought together a diverse range of entrepreneurs, experts and stakeholders from across the country to discuss and showcase opportunities emerging from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

The dialogue aimed to provide a platform for women and youth entrepreneurs to engage in open discussions, exchange ideas and address challenges they face in accessing regional markets under the AfCFTA.

With the theme “Positioning Women and Youth at the Centre of AfCFTA,” the pioneering event fostered an environment that encouraged dialogue, networking, and mentorship, among others.

Leveraging the potential offered by the framework of the AfCFTA, participants explored various industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, technology and services. They discovered new avenues for collaboration, joint ventures and partnerships that could drive sustainable economic growth and job creation in Tanzania.

The dialogue featured prominent speakers, including government officials, business leaders, policymakers and representatives from UN Women.

At the event, Mr Manongi who represented the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, underscored the need for women and youth-led businesses to be at the forefront in the AfCFTA, adding that they should showcase the quality of products that Tanzania has been endowed with.

According to him, the crucial Dialogue came at the right time when Tanzania is set to host the 2nd AfCFTA Conference to be held in the country’s commercial city of Dar es Salaam between December 06 and 08, 2023.

The conference next week will be conducted under the theme: “Strengthening Women’s Participation in Business and Accelerating the implementation of AfCFTA.”

At the event, UN Women Tanzania representative, Lilian Mwamdaga highlighted the importance of active participation by women and youth in leveraging the AfCFTA for socioeconomic progress.

She paid tribute to the government under President Samia Suluhu Hassan for coming up with friendly policies that help more women and Youth to engage in Business, promising collaboration from the UN body.

“We have witnessed how the government has been providing opportunities to youth and women in strengthening their businesses as well as providing for business rights,” said the UN Women Tanzania representative.

She also highlighted the need for inclusive economic growth and gender equality. She noted, “Empowering women and youth through initiatives like these dialogues provides them with equal opportunities to contribute to the nation’s economic development.

In her remarks, TWCC Executive Director, Mwajuma Hamza, said that during the dialogue, participants would equally be taught about the transformative potential of the agreement and that would be encouraged to seize the opportunities it presents.

Several panel discussions centred on strategies to enhance the competitiveness of women and youth-led businesses in both the domestic and regional markets were done at the event.

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