Malawi First Lady Madame Gertrude Mutharika has said her organisation Beautify Malawi (Beam) Trust will begin turning women and girls into economically independent citizens for them to effectively contribute to the social and economic development of Malawi.
Madam Mutharika said this in her high level keynote address delivered at the launch of the World Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, USA on Wednesday.
She cited waste for wealth component in the Beam lined up projects where women shall embark in recycling of waste for sale, an initiative aimed at economically transforming lives of women and girls.
“Beautify Malawi has put in place a number of initiatives that will move a long way in turning around the economic fortunes for Malawian women and girls, while striving to make Malawi a clean and healthier nation.
“The trust will be empowering women to recycle waste thereby assisting them to embark on an economic activity that can transform their wellbeing,” Mutharika told the delegates.
She further informed delegates at the seminar that lack of collateral to access loans and disease burden such as HIV and Aids and Malaria are some of the major challenges facing women entrepreneurs in African countries including Malawi.
She appealed to Women Entrepreneurs institutions to work out modalities on how they can partner Women enterprises such as Beam in order to assist more women to access loans for business capital.
“I would like to report to this gathering that Women in Malawi are hard working. However, their major challenge is access to loans for start-up capital for business since they do not have collateral. I therefore would be failing in my duty if I don’t ask this forum and other women institutions to work out on modalities to address such challenges,” said the First Lady.
She further pointed out that Beam’s vision of creating a healthier and safer Malawi is critical to the attainment of economic independence of women in a developing country like Malawi.
The First Lady also reaffirmed her commitment in making Malawi a healthier and safer place for Women and girls to operate their business.
“It is a known fact that Women business cannot succeed when they are operating in an unclean environment, as they would be forced to spend a lot of time on a sick bed, being sick themselves or looking after a sick child or a family member. It is against this background that I established the Trust after noting that waste management in Malawi was a challenge,” she said.
Mutharika shared the podium with her Namibian counterpart Penehupifo Pohamba while Founder and Chief Executive Officer for the UN Foundation Cathy Calvin was the moderator.
The event held under the theme banner ‘women entrepreneurship new engines for inclusive and sustainable industrial growth and rising stars of the economy in developing countries’ drew together hundreds of successful women business persons, Non-governmental organizations and motivation speakers.
—Reporting by Sylvester Namiwa in New York, USA