Women’s bank receives $300 million

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Harare (New Ziana)-Treasury has released $300 million to the Zimbabwe Women’s Microfinance Bank (ZWMB) for on lending to women across the country as government forges ahead with its economic empowerment agenda, a top bank executive has said.

Zimbabwe Women’s Microfinance Bank chief executive officer Dr Mandas Marikanda told New Ziana that the $300 million is the first tranche of the $1 billion  allocated to the bank for 2022.

“We got our first tranche for 2022 on Wednesday so definitely women are going to benefit. We were allocated $1 billion but right now we received a first tranche of $300 million and we are looking at disbursing that,” she said.

Dr Marikanda said close to 100 000 women have received funds from the bank since its inception in 2018.

“We have footprint at the ward level. So far  99 500 women have benefited across the provinces .We push value chain projects, others are in poultry, others are in general farming, maize farming, rabbit farming, goat farming, micro enterprising, manufacturing and services. They are all varied according to the spheres where women are found,” she said.

Asked how it felt like to head a Women’s bank, Dr Marikanda said: “It feels like playing with other girls, playing with boys you have to hold yourself but with other girls is what we know best. It’s always good to support another woman; it’s always good to make a difference”.

“For me the Women’s month is not a time to cry, it’s our time to look and what we have achieved and do much more,” she added.

Analysts said the disbursement of funds to the bank is proof that the government is committed to the cause of economically empowering women.

In an International Women’s Day address, Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni  said  government was committed to economically empower women and girls as a sustainable way to achieve gender equality  in line with this year’s theme.

“It is imperative that we economically empower women and girls as a sustainable way to achieve gender equality and this can be achieved through various empowerment programmes that my Ministry’s partners provide, such as access to finance and markets, capacity building, provision of technology and workspace, amongst others.

“My Ministry administers the Women Development Fund, a vehicle for provision of affordable loans to women. Furthermore, the Ministry created the ZWMB to provide further funding to women. These funds have transformed the lives of women especially those at grassroots levels” she said.

The International Women’s day is being celebrated under the international theme, “Gender equality today for sustainable tomorrow.”

Zimbabwe’s theme is “Gender mainstreaming and women empowerment in climate change and disaster risk management.”

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