DAR ES SALAAM: In the bustling streets of Tanzania, from Dar es Salaam to the Tanga Region, a revolution is stirring. The protagonists are not political figures or high-powered business executives, but resilient women vendors who have taken control of their economic future in the food sector. This success story is the result of the Mwanamke Shujaa campaign, a transformative initiative that has been enlightening, equipping and empowering women in Tanzania.
The Mwanamke Shujaa campaign, translating to “A Brave Woman”, is an initiative by Coca-Cola Kwanza, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, in collaboration with Oryx Gas and the Institute of Social Work (ISW). The campaign aims to facilitate economic inclusion, particularly for women, through a holistic approach, blending education, employability and entrepreneurship training. This year, the campaign has achieved a significant milestone, having empowered over 1,600 women vendors, marking a significant stride towards gender equality and sustainable development.
The campaign’s slogan, “Jiamini, Jithamini, Jijenge,” encapsulates the essence of the initiative – to instill self-confidence, self-esteem and self-reliance among women. By enabling women to economically benefit from the value chain of various activities they undertake in their communities, the campaign underlines Coca-Cola Kwanza’s commitment to women’s economic empowerment.
Each woman involved in the campaign received a 15kg gas cylinder, a two-plate gas cooker, an apron, a cooking table and a crate of soft drinks. These tools of trade not only improve their productivity but serve as symbols of their economic independence and entrepreneurial spirit.
One such testament to the transformative impact of the initiative is Mrs. Fatuma Ahmed Salehe from Korogwe. She attests to the substantial growth of her business since her involvement in the programme, noting the entrepreneurial skills she gained and how the modern cooking tools have made her job easier and more efficient. “Now I can spend less time cooking and serve more customers,” she states, reflecting her enhanced productivity and income-generating capacity.
Salum Nassor, Director of Public Affairs, Communication and Sustainability at Coca-Cola Kwanza, lauds the success of this year’s campaign, reiterating the company’s commitment to creating shared opportunities for businesses and communities. The company’s growth strategy focuses on creating inclusive growth opportunities for communities, women, youth and people with disabilities. Looking ahead, he reveals plans for expanding the company’s reach in other sectors of the economy in 2024.
In addition, Unguu Sulay, Managing Director of Coca-Cola Kwanza, reaffirms the company’s commitment to shaping a more equitable future for communities. “Coca-Cola Kwanza is thrilled to contribute to women’s economic inclusion initiatives through educational, employability and entrepreneurial programmes,” he states.
On the part of the project partners, Mr. Benoit Araman, the Oryx Gas Managing Director, expresses his company’s commitment to collaborate with Coca-Cola Kwanza on this noble cause. He underscores Oryx Gas’ mission to support enterprises and society in boosting the economy, increasing the usage of gas in the country and preserving the environment.
In summary, the Mwanamke Shujaa campaign transcends mere programme status, representing a transformative and indispensable strategy that effectively addresses the ever-evolving demands of women’s entrepreneurship and business endeavours, consistently and resolutely.