Women traders belonging to the Tanzania Handcraft Association (THA) have expressed optimism with the business climate in the country following the successful conclusion of a week long exhibition in Lilongwe.
The (THA) was formed 10 years ago with the aim of training women to make hand crafts for sale in Tanzania and other surrounding countries.
The exhibition, which was held at Lilongwe Game stores car park ran from September 27 to October 6.
In an interview, the organiser of the exhibition, Fatima Amor, said this is the sixth year they have been visiting the country to sell their products.
Some of the products that were sold included clothes, beads, wrist watches, shoes, slippers, bungles and zitenje.
Said Amor: ” The Malawi market is good. We make very good profits whenever we have organised an exhibition here. This is why we have been coming to Malawi for over 10 years. Some of the members in our group have built houses and others have bought cars from the proceeds of the sales.”
She said entrepreneurship, if taken seriously, can transform lives of many people and there was need for Malawian women to come together and form groups if they want to succeed in business.
One of the exhibitors, Linda Bulire, said despite graduating from the United States International University she decided to embark on entrepreneurship.
“My message to Malawian women is that they must strive to be entrepreneurs and not job seekers. The informal sector has transformed a lot of women in Tanzania and by forming this group we are empowered and can speak with one voice,” said Bulire.
Another entrepreneur, Barbara Namirembo, said it will be important if Malawian women involved in hand craft form an association so that they can work hand-in-hand with their Tanzanian counterparts.
Namirembo said they are in the process of organising a mega exhibition which will attract Tanzanian and Kenyan exhibitors to be held in Lilongwe.