AWAN-ZIM – gathering women entrepreneurs in a network for greater strength

Agribusiness is the mainstay of Africa and where a lot of women entrepreneurs are found– which is the reasons that it is a focus sector for the Chamber Academy programme of CTS. One of the other pillars within this programme is networking and networks. CTS are always striving to increase the network – for our partners, within our areas of business and for ourselves.

In October of 2014 CTS and AWAN East Africa hosted trainings on Green tech for Agribusiness. To increase the reach and network two ladies from Zimbabwe were invited to take part and what they saw impressed them. Going back to Zimbabwe the network idea and structure of AWAN remained and eventually developed into an AWAN-ZIM network.

With the help from the East African ladies AWAN-ZIM has been established and are now joint by about 50 members all over Zimbabwe. CTS facilitated a strategic planning for the board in the beginning of June which saw 17 ladies coming to Chinhoyi from across Zimbabwe to set the agenda and the way forward for the network. From AWAN East Africa came Clara Ibihya to share the story of AWAN, further enhance the connection between EA (Tanzania) and Zimbabwe, but also to share her own story as a now very successful woman entrepreneur. The workshop really showed and together we were able to harness the commitment and the engagement of the Zimbabwean ladies to further develop their network and to be a network for empowering women to be leaders in the agribusiness sector – towards local, regional and international markets.

Sofie Wikander, Programme Manager