Dodoma — Vice-President Dr. Philip Mpango has said that between July 2022 and April this year, the government disbursed a total of 30.9bn/- to 5,120 women groups in 184 Councils countrywide.
The funds were provided with the aim of improving income and eliminate poverty amongst women and men in the country.
In his speech read on his behalf by the Minister of Community Development, Gender, Women and Special Groups, Dr Doroth Gwajima, the VP said that the funds were provided through the 2018 local government authority finance law.
The VP was invited to officiate the launching of the ANAWEZA Gender program, were she sent Dr Gwajima to represent him.
"Through the 2018 local government finance law, all councils in the country are required to allocate 10 percent of their own revenue collections to provide interest-free loans to special groups, where as of April this year, a total of 30.9bn/- was provided to 5,120 women groups in 184 councils in the country.
Dr Gwajima said that through the Women's Development Fund (WDF) managed by her ministry, loans worth 664.5m/- had been provided to 104 women entrepreneurs during the period between July 2022 and April, this year.
She said Tanzania was among the countries that implement the international agenda to promote gender equality where President Samia Suluhu Hassan was the leader of the forum to implement the agenda, especially regarding justice and economic equality.
Dr Gwajima noted that Tanzania had already developed a program implemented in collaboration between the government and the private sector so that come 2026 the situation of women will be changed significantly.
"This program includes creating a better environment for early education and childcare at the community level, as well as ensuring that basic services such as water and electricity reach the villages to solve the challenges facing women," she said.
She explained that the ANAWEZA Program will contribute to the successful implementation of the program of an equal generation in this country and enable women to participate in various leadership positions.
"It is my expectation that the program will involve the private sector in this country to promote women's access to leadership positions and better jobs to stimulate economic growth in the country," she said.
"Research shows that closing the gender gap between the employment of men and women can increase the long-term GDP per capita by 4.8 percent" she added.
On her part, the IFC Regional Director, Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, said that the ANAWEZA program will be implemented for five years with the aim of addressing the existing challenges to facilitate women's participation in private sector, leadership positions and sustainable entrepreneurship.
She said the program will cost 7.5 million US dollars and it is in line with the National Development Vision of 2025 as well as the Five-Year National Development Plan.
"Women can be the engine of Tanzania's economic growth, so empowering them takes a major role in developing the economy and enabling access to a better life for individuals and their families," she said.
She said that the World Bank's assessment of 2022 shows that Tanzania has made progress in increasing gender equality by making efforts to deal with gender inequality in all aspects of women's lives.