The COMESA Federation of Women in Business (COMFWB) was established in July 1993 in Zimbabwe with the endorsement of the Authority which is made up of Heads of States and Governments of the COMESA member states.
COMFWB rests on a solid foundation of legal and institutional legitimacy with its’ mandate embedded in the Treaty; establishing the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, COMESA, under Article 155 – Women in Business and Article 154- Women in Development.
The institution’s objectives are set out at Article 4 of the COMFWB Charter thus:
To promote programmes that integrate women into trade and development activities in Eastern and Southern Africa: in particular, in the fields of industry, trade and services, agriculture, fishing, energy, transport and communications, natural resources and mining, with the main objective of improving the economic conditions of women in the sub-region as well as increasing the awareness of women in development and business issues at the policy level.
COMFWB draws its mandate from (i) the Treaty establishing the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, COMESA, under Article 155 – Role of Women in Business; (ii) Article 154- Role of Women in Development (iii) COMFWB Charter, which mandates COMFWB to “act as a forum for the exchange of ideas and experience among women entrepreneurs; an instrument through which the appropriate portion of COMESA Women in Development Programmes shall be implemented; a forum for network among women entrepreneurs and an instrument for encouraging women to set up or expand existing enterprises.”
Execution of these mandates is undertaken through its constituent National Chapters.