Tanzania Women Chamber of Commerce and TradeMark Africa Join Forces to Catalyze Economic Growth for Women Traders in Tanzania

Judy Ndunge Tanzania June 11, 2024

 The Tanzania Women Chamber of Commerce (TWCC) has secured a $1 million (TZS 2.59 billion) grant from TradeMark Africa (TMA) to enhance regional market access for women traders in Tanzania. This support will focus on product certification, raising awareness of trading opportunities and regulations, and promoting the adoption of digital technologies for trading, which are essential for catalysing their economic growth. This initiative is funded by UK International Development, Norway, and Ireland.

The initiative stems from a recent “Women in Trade in Tanzania” study, conducted by TMA, which revealed that women and youth in Tanzania face significant barriers to accessing and participating in trade, particularly international trade.

Ms Monica Hangi, TMA’s Regional Director for East and Central Africa, and Ms Mwajuma Hamza, Executive Director of TWCC

These challenges include gender-based constraints, limited awareness of market requirements for exports, lack of market information and linkages, limited awareness of available trading opportunities like the Simplified Trade Regimes (STRs), constraints in value addition, challenge in accessing financial capital and inadequate business management skills.

The grant agreement marks a significant milestone in efforts to economically empower women traders in Tanzania, providing them with the necessary tools, resources, and support to thrive in both regional and international markets.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Ms Monica Hangi, TMA’s Regional Director for East and Central Africa, stated, “Empowering women traders is essential for sustainable economic growth. Our partnership with TWCC reflects our commitment to creating an inclusive trade environment where women can thrive. We believe that by addressing the challenges they face, we can unlock tremendous potential and drive economic prosperity in Tanzania.”

Ms. Hangi further disclosed that the strategic partnership will open new opportunities for thousands of women in Tanzania, ensuring they have the tools, knowledge, and support needed to thrive in regional and international markets.

Recent studies underscore the critical role of women in trade and the need for targeted interventions to support their growth. The “Women in Trade in Tanzania” study by TMA revealed that women-owned businesses contribute significantly to the country’s GDP but face systemic challenges that limit their potential. The study recommended measures such as improved access to finance, enhanced market linkages, and targeted capacity-building programmes.

In response to these findings, the TMA-TWCC partnership will enhance market access opportunities, promote capacity building and training of over 8,000 women traders on the rules and regulations of regional trading, supporting them in accessing regional markets such as the East African Community (EAC) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The $1 million (TZS 2.59 billion) grant agreement is aimed at enhancing regional market access for women traders in Tanzania.

TWCC is dedicated to supporting women entrepreneurs and traders by providing them with the resources, networks, and opportunities they need to succeed. Today’s agreement with TMA will amplify these efforts and bring about transformative changes for women traders across the country. By collaborating with TradeMark Africa, we will leverage their expertise and resources to provide the support and opportunities our members need to succeed. Together, we can create a more equitable and vibrant trading environment for all women traders,”Ms. Mwajuma Hamza, Executive Director of TWCC, commented.

Additionally, the partnership will advocate for women in trade, address gender-based constraints, promote active participation in public procurement and economic forums, and support the certification and formalization of products traded by women, ensuring they meet quality standards and gain better market access.

Mentorship programs will also be facilitated to link women traders with experienced mentors who can guide their business growth. This partnership signifies a strong commitment to enhancing the economic status of women traders in Tanzania, fostering a more inclusive and prosperous economic environment. It is a crucial step towards breaking down barriers that limit women’s participation in trade and ensuring their full economic empowerment.

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