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Zanzibar advocates for the inclusion of Kiswahili in languages to be used by the 50 Million Women Speak Platform

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 7th September, 2018: Millions of East African women will be left behind if Kiswahili is not included in the languages to be used by the 50 Million African Women Speak Networking Platform.

This was one of the concerns raised by the different stakeholders, during consultative meetings that the EAC Secretariat conducted with various stakeholders in Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania. The consultative meetings were concluded on Thursday, 6th September, 2018 where a 2 day visit allowed the EAC Secretariat to meet with the different stakeholders to the 50 Million Women Speak (50 MWS) Project.

Among the stakeholders met included the Office of the Second Vice President as well as the Ministries in charge of EAC Affairs, Gender, Youth and Trade as well as different organizations of the Civil Society contributing to woman’s economic empowerment in Zanzibar.

Generose Minani, the EAC Principal Gender and Community Development Officer who was heading the EAC delegation, expressed the full commitment of the EAC Secretariat to work with the different Partner States to make sure this Project is a success."He who empowers a woman, empowers the whole society,’’ Ms Minani said.

Wilson Muyenzi, 50MWS Project Coordinator introduced and explained the purpose, objectives and scope of the Project. The Coordinator also gave some highlights on how the platform will work including the means of access and languages to be used initially, which are English, French and Arabic.

Different stakeholders expressed their satisfaction and excitement about this Project but also expressed their concern about the issue of languages to be used.If Kiswahili is not to be included among those languages, the United Republic of Tanzania alone will be having more than 20 million women who will be left behind; participants estimated. 

According to Suleiman A. Haji, Director of Zanzibar Economic Empowerment Fund (ZEEF) in Ministry of Labor, Empowerment, Elders, Women and Children; women are more involved in business than men in Zanzibar the reason why the aforementioned Ministry is investing much efforts in women’s economic empowerment. Mr Haji however finds that the issue of language needs to be taken seriously for more impact.

“We are in the world that keeps changing that is why we can’t keep doing business the way we were doing it before the coming of ICT,’’ said Mawuwa Makame Rajab, the Acting Principal Secretary and Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labor, Empowerment, Elders, Women and Children in Zanzibar.

Mrs. Mawuwa finds the platform to be a good opportunity for Zanzibar women to advance their business and with the cooperation and working together of all stakeholders. 

The 50MWS Project Coordinator, considers that any starting Project comes with some challenges but hopes that arising issues will be solved with the support of all stakeholders.

Mr Muyenzi promised to share the issue of language expressed by many, with people in charge of the implementation of this project at high level. He however explained that, the three languages he mentioned are prioritized in the beginning but reassured that other languages will be added later for the interest of all. 

The 50 MWS Project is a digital portal that intends to create a dynamic and engaging exchange of ideas among women entrepreneurs, connecting them with another in ways that will foster peer -to- peer learning, mentoring and the sharing of information and knowledge within communities, and access to finance services and market opportunities between urban and rural areas, and across borders and between countries.

-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
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United Republic of Tanzania

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Email: eac@eachq.org