Malawian women entrepreneurs are set to benefit from an online business networking platform aimed at connecting 50 million business persons across Africa.
The 50 Million African Women Speak Platform (50Mawsp) is an initiative of three regional economic communities supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The inaugural national launch was conducted in Zambia last week and will be rolled out in 38 member countries of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), the East African Community (EAC) and the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas).
The platform was developed to empower women in Africa by enabling them to access real-time information on financial and non-financial services through handheld communication mobile devices.
Comesa is leading the national launches in 15 countries, with Zambia being the first to launch the initiative. Others lined up are in Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Ethiopia, Eswatini, Eritrea, Djibouti, Egypt, Sudan, Malawi, Madagascar, Comoros, DR Congo, Tunisia and Mauritius.
“To give you just one more grim statistics; women alone, who contribute the larger percentage of Africa’s population and form the majority of those engaged in key sectors such as agriculture and trade, face a financing gap of close to $16 billion,” Comesa Secretary General Chileshe Kapwepwe told guests at the Zambian launch.
She added that even where financing is available, it is not always accessed owing to lack of information about the available financial products.
The platform is accessed on: www.womenconnect.org.