Conrad Mupesa Herald Correspondent
Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Deputy Minister Jennifer Mhlanga has said her ministry will support projects that promote and foster women’s advancement in the tourism sector.
She said as a ministry they were keen to promote traditional cuisine, traditional crafts and pottery, among a wide range of businesses.
The deputy minister told The Herald recently that a number of projects and women were expected to benefit from the $100 million that was disbursed to her ministry by President Mnangagwa to promote financial independence.
“Apart from the community bakeries projects that have flourished countrywide, we are also expected to engage in a number of projects that support women financially that include growing of traditional grains that already have a market in Namibia and Kenya,” said Deputy Minister Mhlanga.
“In light of this, we are also going to support women in local decorations, crafts and cuisines.”
“Our tourism industry is very big, yet we tend to be Eurocentric in terms of our decorations, our menus on the table and yet, if you look at those that have gone traditional or ethnic ways of cuisines or decors have done well,” she said.
“So, we want to promote women in tourism in terms of operation, ethnicity, fusing of ethnicity in the tourism sector.”
Deputy Minister Mhlanga said her ministry will help women access markets locally and internationally.
“It is our aim that we also help the women to access markets locally and internationally to fully support them,” she said.
The ministry is expected to revive the 50 million women Federation of National Associations of Women in Business in Comesa (FEMCOM) initiative in 2020.
FEMCOM has national chapters in all the 19 Comesa region countries namely: Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
“In 2020, we want to revive FEMCOM’s 50 million initiative, this is to include women into a bigger market beyond our borders, thus adding to our economy as well,” said Deputy Minister Mhlanga.
“We will continue to nurture the micro, small to medium enterprises, but we also want our women to grow bigger in business.”
Deputy Minister Mhlanga encouraged women to be receptive of the Government’s initiatives which seek to promote their financial independence as the Government offers the projects irrespective of colour and political affiliations.
The ministry, she said, will also commemorate all the international days in 2020 that recognise and honour women that include the Rural Women Day, International Women’s Day and Family Day.