26 June 2018
THE setting up of the Zimbabwe Women’s Micro-finance Bank is consistent with the provisions in our constitution in promoting inclusivity of women and gender main streaming in all developmental programs in Zimbabwe, President Mnangagwa has said.
President Mnangagwa, in his speech at the opening of the bank at HICC yesterday, hailed Zimbabwean women for the initiative as it is the first bank of its kind in the SADC region adding that government was committed to ensuring that women are financially emancipated.
“What makes the entry of the bank in the financial services market significant and even more exciting is that it is the first of its kind in the SADC region. Zimbabwe is therefore a torch bearer in this regard brought about by women.
“Zimbabwean women have acquitted themselves exceptionally well over the past two decades when the nation was confronted by lots of problems which threatened its social fabric
“Women are the pillars of our families who at times do various jobs to support families therefore government has made it a priority to ensure that women are supported to participate in mainline economic activities by availing tailor made support facilities for their financial inclusivity,” he said.
President Mnangagwa also said government was fully aware that sustainable economic development could only be achieved through the participation and collective economic strength of all citizens including women and the youths.
“I am pleased to launch this bank. After years of seeking to facilitate access for women to affordable financial services we are today launching as the backbone of the agro economy and major players in the micro and medium sector women have unique needs that are often neglected and not provided for. Hence, it is gratifying that this new baby in the financial services sector will avail tailor made schemes to support women’s projects,” he said.
President Mnangagwa went on to elaborate the purposes of the bank, which is tailor made to cater for the banking needs of women in Zimbabwe.
“Statistics show that women don’t have access to credit finance. They are not formally saving and women have limited awareness of investment products available in the banking sector.
“However, the new bank will seek to champion women’s financial inclusion through availing affordable funding options to start their own enterprises,” he said.
He went on to call on all players in the financial services sector to make numerous efforts to restore depositors’ confidence as well as to develop packages that are in sync with the type of needs of the society.
Speaking at the same event, the Minister of Women Affairs, Community and Gender Development Sithembiso Nyoni women were still not favoured by their participation so they want to prove that they could do better than men.
“Among other services, the bank will create professional jobs for women in banking accounting ICT, property evaluation and many others that are closed to women, it will create employment for grass root women; it will create a culture of saving by creating a win-win profit sharing relationship especially with the women from rural areas.
“It will develop products as per women’s request for example social loans for education health and funeral services,” said Minister Nyoni.
The bank CEO Mandas Marikanda spoke to H-Metro on the sidelines of the event said she was excited to be the team leader.
“We have all worked hard to the birth of this baby; it looks unreal but we call all women to come with confidence and get their funding despite the size of their businesses, we are reaching out to micro-farmers, miners, cross border traders,”
“We are looking forward to partner with women across the region because the marginalisation of women is not only a Zimbabwean issue, it’s a SADC and a worldwide problem so we will incubate our bank to be a worldwide bank in good time,” said Marikanda.
Gracing the event was the First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Harare Metropolitan Minister Miriam Chikukwa, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Petronella Kagonye, UN resident co-ordinator Bishow Parajuli and Prophetess Makandiwa and captains of industry amongst others.