Businesswomen from countries in the COMESA region have hailed their female role models in a campaign dubbed 30 days of women in business launched earlier this month. The campaign is running on the 50 Million Women African Speak platform (50MAWSP), in celebration of the international women’s month of March.
Among those nominated were Mrs. Tabitha Karanja of Keroche Breweries, a beverage producer in Kenya, Zambian banker and Absa Zambia CEO Mrs. Mizinga Melu, and former DRC First Lady Mrs. Olive Lembe Kabila. The 50MAWSP users cited passion, entrepreneurial achievements, and their ability to break through male-dominated spheres as reasons for picking them out as the women who inspire them most.
The campaign invites women in the region to log onto the platform or to download the 50MAWSP app from the Google or Apple stores.
Dozens of users from the region have nominated well-known women leaders, as well as women who may be out of the limelight but are an inspiration to those in their communities. Among those nominated were Mrs. Tabitha Karanja of Keroche Breweries, a beverage producer in Kenya, Zambian banker and Absa Zambia CEO Mrs. Mizinga Melu, and former DRC First Lady Mrs. Olive Lembe Kabila.
Nominating Mrs. Tabitha Karanja, a Kenyan platform user, Ms. Sheila Karwitha Mabe, wrote, “Your growth and tenacity in the brewing industry, a business dominated by our male counterparts, has not only given the women of today hope and confidence of a bright future in contributing greatly to the economy of this country but also, motivated us to start our businesses. You have spearheaded the journey to Women in Leadership not only in Kenya but across Africa.”
Ms. Precious Limamu, a Zambian user, picked Mrs. Mizinga Melu as her inspiration and stated, “Seeing you get to such great heights gives me assurance that I too can climb the ladders of success despite being female.”
In another moving tribute, a user from Eswatini had this to say about her heroine, Ms. Sindisiwe Sindi Dlamini, “Your passion for women moving forward is infectious and I would love to see you break into the African markets primarily as a stepping stone into international markets. You’re a trailblazer despite the obstacles that come with being a voice of hope to young women and I pray you keep doing what you do relentlessly because I and so many others appreciate you.”
The COMESA Director for Gender and Social Affairs Mrs. Beatrice Hamusonde said, “When we rolled out this campaign we were focusing on the COMESA region, but we are excited to see so many women from all over Africa interacting and celebrating one another. This feedback affirms one of the key objectives for the 50 Million African Women Speak platform, which is building deep and beneficial connections among women on the continent,” she said.