Tendai Rupapa in Bulawayo
First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has urged women here to take advantage of the newly-launched Zimbabwe Women’s Microfinance Bank and start income-generating projects.
She said such a move would uplift their lives while contributing to macro-economic development.
The bank was officially launched by President Mnangagwa in Harare last month.
Addressing women yesterday at the School of Hospitality and Tourism, the First Lady said the bank was not opened for women in Harare only but is for everyone.
The gathering was a follow-up meeting by the First Lady after she met women from the Matabeleland regions during the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in April.
“We are here today to collectively map the way forward in women empowerment. Our meeting today provides us an opportunity to discuss candidly innovative initiatives to bring on board women in the mainstream economy,” she said.
“The Government has created enormous opportunities for women’s economic empowerment to reverse the status of women as a marginalised group. Women should not be left behind in economic issues. We should take advantage of the women’s bank which was recently opened for us by the President.”
The First Lady said the coming on board of the Women’s Microfinance Bank is a landmark achievement.
“I urge you all to access the tailor-made women empowerment products that are available. Make sure that you open an account in our bank because we do not want to embarrass our President, Minister (Sithembiso Nyoni) and also the bank itself. This bank was specifically opened for us and I know women are hard workers.”
She said women must put to good use loans borrowed from the bank.
The First Lady said she did not open her own account in Harare deliberately as she intended to do so in Bulawayo.
“I did not open my account in Harare when the bank was opened because I wanted to open it here,” she said.
She commended the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development for putting in place funding to support women in small-scale mining pro- jects.
Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development Sithembiso Nyoni urged women to participate in mainstream economic activities.
She praised the new dispensation led by President Mnangagwa for creating opportunities for women.