EAC Logo

Gender, Community Development & Civil Society

50 Million African Women Project conducts user training on Digital Platform

East African Community Secretariat, Arusha, Tanzania, 30th March 2019: The 50 Million Speak Project (50MWS) conducted a user training on the Digital Platform from the 25th to 29th March 2019, in Lusaka-Zambia, aimed at providing women with access to information on financial and non-financial services while creating a community of women who will act as peers, advisors and mentors to each other.

The training was organized by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which is the Coordinating Regional Community in the implementation of the 50MWS Project.

The objective of the training was to equip the users with the required skills in managing the Platform ahead of the official launch planned in a few months.

Continue Reading

50MWS Platform to help connect Tanzanian business women to much needed markets

East African Community Secretariat, 22nd March, 2019:The 50 Million African Women Speak Networking Platform Project (50MWS) is working with different stakeholders to help solve the various issues that women in business face, including access to finance.

On the 21st March 2019, a 4-member delegation from the East African Community Secretariat together with two Officers from the Tanzanian Ministries in charge of East African Affairs and the Ministry responsible for Gender paid a visit to women empowerment organisations in Dar es Salaam.

The objective of this field visit was for the project to understand better how these organisations operate so as to enable the 50MWS Project forge partnerships around the women economic empowerment agenda.

Continue Reading

EAC Secretariat celebrates International Women's Day 2019

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 8th March, 2019: The East African Community has joined the rest of the world in marking the 2019 International Women's Day under the theme, Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change. The 8th March 2019 event was held at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

As provided for in Articles 121 and 122 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC, Partner States have undertaken various efforts to enhance the Role of Women in Business and Socio-Economic Development.

Continue Reading

Uganda Financial Institutions pledge to carry 50 Million African Women Speak Project’s agenda to the next level

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 13th December, 2018A first consultative meeting with financial institutions in the Republic of Uganda on the implementation of the 50 Million African Women Speak Networking Platform (50MWS) Project was held on 11th December, 2018 in Kampala, Uganda.

The objective of the meeting was to introduce the project to the financial institutions and to solicit their support as key stakeholders in the implementation of the project.

EAC Director of Social Sectors, Mary Makoffu, reiterated the critical role of financial institutions in the implementation and success of the project.

“It’s a social responsibility for all of us to support women, because they are pillars of our economies” noted the Director.

Daniel Ocakacon, in charge of National Payment Systems in the Bank of Uganda, a regulator in the financial sector, reaffirmed that women have a crucial role in sustaining the region’s economy but regretted that most of these women still operate informally.

“Women are more active in the informal financial sector, but when you cross to the formal sector, they are almost nonexistent. Not many women have a bank account or access bank loans,” he said.

Mr. Ocakacon congratulated the EAC Secretariat for this undertaking stating that the 50MWS Project comes to complement the already existing efforts that are geared towards financial inclusion that the Government of Uganda started some years back.

The Uganda National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2017-2022 was developed in an effort to ensure the middle missing women, youth and rural population at large are reached by services of the finance sector.

Mr. Ocakacon called on bankers present at the meeting to ensure that the objective of the strategy are kept in mind whenever banking services are being delivered.

“The Central Bank of Uganda has already paved a way for the 50MWS Project, the Uganda National Financial Inclusion Strategy highlights a number of products that need to be put in place by financial institutions to deliver on the objective of the financial inclusion”, he concluded.

Speaking at the meeting, Beatrice Lugalambi, in charge of Women Banking, at the Uganda Centenary Bank, said that the Bank and many other banks in Uganda had already embarked on the financial inclusion process.

“This project cannot however be successful unless it embarks on capacity building. Many women we work with, are still confronted with the issue of lack of knowledge and technical know how,” she said.

She nonetheless pledged on behalf of the Centenary Bank and other banks in Uganda to carry the 50MWS Project agenda to the next step, while calling for a stronger partnership with the Project and other Development Partners in addressing that shortfalls in capacity.

“Capital coupled with capacity building will bring us far in this undertaking,” Ms Lugalambi concluded.

Representing the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, the coordinating Ministry in the implementation of the 50MWS Project, Caroline Rukundo Benda, expressed her gratitude to see the platform coming up and was confident that it will allow the population especially women in business to network with other regions as well as access regional and international markets.

Wilson Muyenzi, 50 Million Women Speak Project Coordinator noted that the commitment of the financial institutions had escalated his confidence in the success of the project.

The meeting participants were drawn from the financial services sector including commercial banks and Government funds as well as from the public sector including the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and the Ministry of EAC Affairs.

-ENDS-

For more information please contact:
Achel Bayisenge,
Content Manager for the 50MWS Project
Tel: +255 786726230;
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certified

50 MWS Project engages East African Financial institutions for more financial inclusion

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 25th November, 2018: An EAC Secretariat delegation has completed a week-long visit to financial institutions in the Republics of Kenya and Rwanda. The objective of the 19 to 23, November 2018 visit, was to engage through consultative meetings with key financial institutions on the implementation of the 50 Million African Women Speak Networking Platform (50MWS) Project.

Leading the Delegation, EAC Director for Social Sectors, Mary Makoffu, noted that the EAC Secretariat had embarked on this engagement with financial institutions at a time when the World is striving to promote financial inclusion, encouraging financial institutions and decision makers to facilitate women access finance the same way men do.

“Women are the pillars of our shaky economies and need to be supported for the interest of the whole society. It is however visible that there are still many more men with access to financial services like loans and bank accounts than women”, added Ms. Makoffu.

Wilson Muyenzi, 50MWS Project Coordinator expounded that on average, only 4.3 per cent of women entrepreneurs have access to loans in Africa. ”

While visiting the Republic of Kenya, Verity Mganga, the Deputy Director, Gender Affairs, Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs in the Republic of Kenya, stressed on the critical role financial institutions have in the implementation of the 50MWS Project.

“I believe that cooperation between the Project and financial institutions is paramount, we must take cognizance of the ability of our financial institutions to promoting financial inclusion”, stated the Deputy Director.

During the Rwanda leg of the visit, the Director of Women Economic Empowerment, Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, Jean Bosco Murangira, saluted the initiative of engaging Financial institutions around the implementation of the 50MWS Project.

“The 50MWS Project is coming to complement the efforts that are already being deployed by the Government of Rwanda in the fight against unemployment”, the Director remarked.

The Republic of Rwanda has embarked on a plan to create 1.5 million jobs by the year 2024, half of which target women and girls. Mr. Murangira noted however that most of the women targeted still lack skills that would enable them utilize the opportunity fully.

“I urge the implementers of the 50 MWS Project to prioritize building the capacity of women entrepreneurs therefore helping fast track the regions goals in the domain of women economic empowerment,” he added.

During the visit, Ministries involved in the implementation of the project in Kenya and Rwanda reaffirmed their commitment and called upon all stakeholders to support the innovative initiative.

Representatives of the Financial Institutions who attended the meetings highlighted that one of the biggest challenges that women entrepreneurs face besides lack of capital is the lack of confidence, right attitude and mindset to succeed in business.

They therefore recommended the Project to include capacity building sessions to supplement women entrepreneurs in their endeavors.

Most of the banks the EAC delegation engaged with said they have already embarked on the financial inclusion path by setting up products that specifically target women. The banks further expressed their comfort in working with women having noted an impressive trend in their loan repayments.

Meetings in the two countries were attended by participants from the financial services sector including commercial banks, Women banks, Government funds, micro finance institutions, cooperative banks, savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs) as well as from the public sector mainly from Ministries of Gender, ICT and EAC Affairs.

-ENDS-

For more information please contact:
Achel Bayisenge,
Content Manager for the 50MWS Project,
EAC Secretariat,
Tel: +255 786726230
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certified


East African Community
EAC Close
Afrika Mashariki Road
P.O. Box 1096
Arusha
United Republic of Tanzania

Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
Email: eac@eachq.org