By Qondile Ntiwane | 2021-09-30
ESWATINI has received the best COMFWB Chapter 2021 Award. The Eswatini Chapter headed by MP Thandi Nxumalo was awarded for its hard work and dedication in promoting women in business in the country.
The Manzini South Member of Parliament received the regional award during the second COMESA Federation of Women in Business (COMFWB) annual regional trade fair which took place in Zambia Lusaka from September 22-24.
Interviewed on the award, Nxumalo said she this was an achievement for the Eswatini Chapter and that the award would motivate them to work even harder. She attributed the award to hard work, determination and commitment to carrying out their mandate as a Board.
“It is all because of passion and complying with the requirements of the COMFWB Regional, Submission of monthly reports, as well as the support we get from our government, especially the ministry of commerce industry and trade,” she said. Nxumalo then congratulated the Eswatini Board and all members of the COMFWB Eswatini.
“I congratulate all of us for a job well done and encourage us to put more effort in what we do, especially because we have support from COMESA and Govt as we strive to empower all women in Eswatini.
“As women we have all powers vested in us as COMFWB by the COMESA Treaty Article 155 which was endorsed by the Heads of states.
It is us now up to us to take action for things to happen. We are very excited and we promise to lift the Eswatini flag even higher,” she said. About 200 local, regional and international businesswomen and investors participated in the annual regional trade fair The hybrid forum provided a platform for businesses to showcase innovative products and services both existing and potential, interact with and get feedback and insights about the products from customers and other stakeholders.
It also enabled knowledge and experience-sharing especially for women in business to discuss the challenges and opportunities in regional trade particularly for Micro Small and Medium Entrepreneurs. Zambia’s new Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Hon. Chipoka Mulenga opened the trade fair.
He said such events provided valuable knowledge on the potential large markets outside current comfort zones and called on women locally and in the region to take keen interest and actively participate.
The expo was inspired by the need to address women’s equal access to business leadership and entrepreneurship. According to COMESA statistics obtained under the Women in Cross-Border Trade programme, 70 to 80 per cent of individual cross boarder traders in COMESA are women. However, most of the border areas in the region lack basic infrastructure to cater for the needs of small-scale women traders.
Meanwhile COMESA Secretary General (SG) Chileshe Kapwepwe underscored the importance of knowledge-sharing among women entrepreneurs as it enabled enterprises to innovate, explore new markets, manage businesses effectively and in general serve as a springboard for such businesses into the future.
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