Stanbic Bank Zambia has received a top award from the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Programme (AWEP) for its programme to support female business leaders.
The Anakazi Banking initiative was launched earlier this year to increase access for women to finance and capacity-building activities. It includes training, mentoring and networking events to build knowledge in management and access to markets, as well as help to establish businesses.
Stanbic chief executive Charles Mudiwa said Stanbic Bank recognised the huge role that Zambian women played in the country’s development.
“We are very much aware of the many challenges that women face, which are not just peculiar to Zambia,” he said.
“We partnered with the Global Banking Alliance for Women, which is the only global consortium of financial institutions dedicated to supporting banks as they capture the opportunity of the women’s market. In February, we became the first Zambian financial institution to join the Global Banking Alliance for Women and launched Anakazi Banking, which seeks to support women to excel in business.”
First Lady Esther Lungu presented the award to Stanbic at a gala dinner at the Intercontinental Hotel.
The launch of Anakazi Banking represents Stanbic’s intent to boost Zambian women’s involvement in business and entrepreneurship.
AWEP is an outreach, education, and engagement initiative for African women entrepreneurs to promote business growth, increase trade, create better business environments, and empower them to become voices for change in their communities.
In Africa, women are the backbone of communities and the continent’s greatest potential to unlocking economic growth as they provide most of the labour but with the fewest resources. Reductions in the gender gap in education, health, political participation and economic inclusion will result in an increase in the continent’s economic competitiveness.