Eswitini Q3 Update
On the 3rd and 24th August 2021COMFWB Eswatini Chapter visited the Bhunya area under Mhlambanyatsi Constituency for the purpose of sensitising the women from the area about COMFWB and its benefits.
The 1st meeting was attended by 37 women including the youth and a few men. The second one was attended by 35 women, youth and those living with disabilities included.
Both meetings were opened by Mr. Mavimbela who is a Speaker of the House of Parliament in Eswatini and who is also a Member of Parliament representing the Mhlambanyatsi Constituency. The Speaker briefly welcomed all attendants and introduced our Chairperson Hon. Thandi Nxumalo to the business women.
Given the platform to talk about COMFWB, our chair started by giving a brief background about COMFWB, from when it was established and that it has the endorsement of the Authority made up of Head of States and Governments of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)countries. She also mentioned that COMFWB’s mandate or charter is embedded in the treaty establishing COMEASA, under article 155.
Hon. Thandi continued to mention that COMFWB promotes programmes that integrate women into trade and development activities in Eastern and Southern Africa, particularly in the fields of Agriculture, industry, trade, services, mining, energy, transport, communications and natural resources. COMFWB also serves as a representative body and link between the women and policy organs of the COMESA member states, regional organisations, and international organisations, whose aim is to promote trade and development.
The Chairperson went on and mentioned our Chapter’svision, mission and objectives which are;
To be Eswatini’s epicentre for women’s economicempowerment.
To serve as an umbrella body to facilitate theeconomic empowerment of Women in Eswatini.
- To have an institutional capacity that enables the organisation to sustainably deliver on its mandate
- To deliver programming that measurably advances the participation of Eswatini women in Business
- To eradicate the social and structural barriers that inhibit the participation of women in business
She then explained that COMFWB works with groups therefore she encouraged them to form groups and identify which business sector they would like to venture into. Where after, they will have to pay a membership fee/subscription of E500.00 which confirms that they are now under the COMFWB Eswatini Chapter and it will automatically mean that the chapter will be there to guide them and assist the min any way they require. She mentioned that the chapter has established good relationships with the likes of SEDCO which mainly focuses on Business incubation, also with The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade, The Ministry of Agriculture and Eswatini Investment Promotional Authority (EIPA)who promote and stimulate local and foreign trade in and out of Eswatini by encouraging export development and marketing as well as import substitution.
She then gave out the COMFWB benefits which include:
- Represent issues of women in business at policy level with the Government machinery
- Chapters are supported to network with other chapters and international Associations
- Linkage to COMESA institutions for technical services and projects
- Access to wider, harmonised and more competitive market
- Link with financial institution for access to finance
- Access to cross border trade facilitation
- Have access to Technical expertise
- Have access to Market information
- Have access to first-hand available project finances
- Have support to the development of Strategic Plans for Chapters
- Business Management capacity building workshops
- Supported to undertake advocacy on issues critical to performance of Business
- Consultation and mentorship support
- Support and advise to mobilize resources locally
In conclusion, Hon Thandie encouraged women to start businesses and also register them as there are many advantages in formal trading than informal. She also urged them not to shy away from political positions because they would give them the platform to raise their concerns and give ideas as women.
In closing, The Honourable Speaker expressed his gratitude to our Chairperson for enlightening the women about the benefits of being a COMFWB Member and for encouraging women to venture into business as it will have a great positive impact on the economy of the country.