JB courts Karonga small scale businesswomen

…promises K10-billion revolving fund

Former immediate President of the republic of Malawi who is also People’s Party leader Dr. Joyce Banda says the country’s economy can only grow if women are self-reliant and economically empowered through small business as they are custodians of families.

Banda popularly known as JB in the political scene made these remarks when she addressed thousands of women Sunday afternoon during a business forum for self-help groups (SHG) whose objective was to inspire their business plans in Karonga district.

Inspired; small scale business women-Picture by Jordan Simeon-Phiri

The former President said in business, perseverance, respect for families and love are the only secret to success, saying disrespectful business women do not prosper as they spend precious time quarreling with their husbands over petty issues while their friends make money.

“I am glad that Karonga has very hard working women that are engaged in various business ranging from rice, plantains, vegetables and second hand clothes. I want to assure you that you have found a real partner in Joyce Banda as women empowerment has always been my hobby since my childhood.

“My involvement with women dates back to 1989 when l established National Association Business for Women (NABW) whose membership grew to 50,000 in 1997. Since that time I have been up and down empowering women through various interventions that includes Joyce Banda Foundation (JBF) that has for produced over 6,500 girls.

However, Banda could not finish without going political as she also assured the jam packed hall with business women that she plans to establish smart villages throughout Malawi like the one built at Nkhamenya in Kasungu where people will be staying for free and their contributions will be bricks, sand and water towards the construction of those houses that will be powered by solar.

“People in these smart villages will be connected to solar power that they will be using even for cooking and charging their phones, they will receive cows and will also be on social cash transfer program for daily up keep and small scale business.

“Once voted into power l will also increase the minimum wage bill from the current K25,000 to at least K40,000 because life is so hard that making ends meet is a very difficult task,” JB said amid hands clapping.

She also promised a K10-billion revolving fund that her office will set aside once she goes to State House on May 21, saying she believes that women economic empowerment is the key to socio economic and political empowerment that enables women to send children to schools and take them to hospitals when they fall sick

Speaking on behalf of SHG, President of Tughaneghe Federation under Future Planning for the children (FPC) Memory Munthali said through Banda’s inspirational speech, her organization has learnt lessons that have fired up all members of the institution.

“We are motivated indeed. We are happy that we had you as our guest speaker. These women that you see here are dedicated and experienced business ladies.

“The only challenge is capital that would boost their business and make them realize their economic empowerment dreams,” Munthali said.

About 122 small scale business women SHG and nine cluster level associations (CLA) from across Karonga attended the business forum.