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Gender, Community Development & Civil Society

EAC Secretariat celebrates International Women's Day 2019

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 8th March, 2019: The East African Community has joined the rest of the world in marking the 2019 International Women's Day under the theme, Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change. The 8th March 2019 event was held at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

As provided for in Articles 121 and 122 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC, Partner States have undertaken various efforts to enhance the Role of Women in Business and Socio-Economic Development.

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Uganda Financial Institutions pledge to carry 50 Million African Women Speak Project’s agenda to the next level

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 13th December, 2018A first consultative meeting with financial institutions in the Republic of Uganda on the implementation of the 50 Million African Women Speak Networking Platform (50MWS) Project was held on 11th December, 2018 in Kampala, Uganda.

The objective of the meeting was to introduce the project to the financial institutions and to solicit their support as key stakeholders in the implementation of the project.

EAC Director of Social Sectors, Mary Makoffu, reiterated the critical role of financial institutions in the implementation and success of the project.

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50MAWS Project engages East African Financial institutions for more financial inclusion

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 25th November, 2018: An EAC Secretariat delegation has completed a week-long visit to financial institutions in the Republics of Kenya and Rwanda. The objective of the 19 to 23, November 2018 visit, was to engage through consultative meetings with key financial institutions on the implementation of the 50 Million African Women Speak Networking Platform (50MWS) Project.

Leading the Delegation, EAC Director for Social Sectors, Mary Makoffu, noted that the EAC Secretariat had embarked on this engagement with financial institutions at a time when the World is striving to promote financial inclusion, encouraging financial institutions and decision makers to facilitate women access finance the same way men do.

“Women are the pillars of our shaky economies and need to be supported for the interest of the whole society. It is however visible that there are still many more men with access to financial services like loans and bank accounts than women”, added Ms. Makoffu.

Wilson Muyenzi, 50MWS Project Coordinator expounded that on average, only 4.3 per cent of women entrepreneurs have access to loans in Africa. ”

While visiting the Republic of Kenya, Verity Mganga, the Deputy Director, Gender Affairs, Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs in the Republic of Kenya, stressed on the critical role financial institutions have in the implementation of the 50MWS Project.

“I believe that cooperation between the Project and financial institutions is paramount, we must take cognizance of the ability of our financial institutions to promoting financial inclusion”, stated the Deputy Director.

During the Rwanda leg of the visit, the Director of Women Economic Empowerment, Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, Jean Bosco Murangira, saluted the initiative of engaging Financial institutions around the implementation of the 50MWS Project.

“The 50MWS Project is coming to complement the efforts that are already being deployed by the Government of Rwanda in the fight against unemployment”, the Director remarked.

The Republic of Rwanda has embarked on a plan to create 1.5 million jobs by the year 2024, half of which target women and girls. Mr. Murangira noted however that most of the women targeted still lack skills that would enable them utilize the opportunity fully.

“I urge the implementers of the 50 MWS Project to prioritize building the capacity of women entrepreneurs therefore helping fast track the regions goals in the domain of women economic empowerment,” he added.

During the visit, Ministries involved in the implementation of the project in Kenya and Rwanda reaffirmed their commitment and called upon all stakeholders to support the innovative initiative.

Representatives of the Financial Institutions who attended the meetings highlighted that one of the biggest challenges that women entrepreneurs face besides lack of capital is the lack of confidence, right attitude and mindset to succeed in business.

They therefore recommended the Project to include capacity building sessions to supplement women entrepreneurs in their endeavors.

Most of the banks the EAC delegation engaged with said they have already embarked on the financial inclusion path by setting up products that specifically target women. The banks further expressed their comfort in working with women having noted an impressive trend in their loan repayments.

Meetings in the two countries were attended by participants from the financial services sector including commercial banks, Women banks, Government funds, micro finance institutions, cooperative banks, savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs) as well as from the public sector mainly from Ministries of Gender, ICT and EAC Affairs.

-ENDS-

For more information please contact:
Achel Bayisenge,
Content Manager for the 50MWS Project,
EAC Secretariat,
Tel: +255 786726230
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certified

EAC launches Gender Policy

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 17th September, 2018:  The East African Community Secretariat has launched Gender Policy that seeks an inclusive Community which guarantees equal rights and opportunities for women and men, boys and girls.

The EAC Gender Policy, which was launched at the EAC Headquarters, in Arusha, Tanzania has been developed to provide guidance on institutionalizing gender strategies in the EAC integration process in addition to ensuring that the rights of women and men, boys and girls are promoted, protected and realised on an equal basis.

The policy further aims at strengthening the mainstreaming of gender concerns in the planning and budgetary processes of all sectors in the EAC Organs, Institutions and Partner States.

Speaking at the opening session, on behalf of the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Hon Christophe Bazivamo, the Director of Social Sectors at the EAC Secretariat, Ms. Mary Makoffu, said that the Gender Policy was developed out of the recognition that there still disparities among men and women in various spheres of life.

“For example, despite various accomplishments by Partner States in educating the girl child, and possessing various skills by women and girls, there was poor representation of women in the employment sector and more so in political representation,” said Director Makoffu.

Ms. Makoffu informed the participants at the launch that there was still misleading data and contradictions between targeted programme interventions and those incorporating gender perspectives across different sectors.

This lack of accountability delays progress in advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women, girls and other marginalised groups,’’ she said.Ms. Makoffu said that Gender Equality was a key principle of the EAC integration process.

She said that under Article 6 (d) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC, Partner States committed to adhere to the principles of democracy, the rule of law, accountability, transparency, social justice, equal opportunities, gender equality, as well as recognition, promotion and protection of human and people’s rights.

Oh his part, Hon. Abdikadir Aden, Chairperson of the General Purpose Committee at the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) informed the participants that in a bid to contribute to the quest for Gender Equality, EALA passed the EAC Gender Equality and Equity Bill, 2017 on Women’s Day of 2017 in Kigali, Rwanda.

Hon. Aden said it was expected that the Bill, when fully assented to, would give an unprecedented boost to the observance and practice of gender equality in the region.“I am informed that the training that has been organized to provide relevant knowledge, skills and values that will allow participants to contribute effectively in the implementation of the EAC Gender policy and all efforts at mainstreaming Gender in their respective organizations and in the Partner States,” said the legislator.

He congratulate the EAC Secretariat for this great stride of launching the policy and called for all the EAC Organs and Institutions to practice, encourage and advocate for Gender Equality.

Dr. Kirsten Focken, the GIZ Programme Manager, underscored the importance of the EAC Gender Policy as an instrument saying that it would bridge the gender income inequality gap that has existed for over two decades within the EAC region.

Dr. Focken,  who was represented by  Joyce Kimaro, Senior Adviser at the GIZ called for  joint research among stakeholders on  laws and regulatory environments which facilitate or hinder gender equality and women’s economic participation, and develop specific activities or interventions to remove the barriers in the region.

Notes to Editors

In 2012, the EAC Secretariat with support from the Society for International Development (SID) and the Eastern African Sub-Regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI) commenced the process of developing the Policy.  This was in compliance with the directive of the 25th Meeting of the Council of Ministers (EAC/CM25/Dir25) of August 2012 where the Council directed the Secretariat to develop policies on Gender Equality, Youth, Children, Social Protection and Community Development.

The EAC Gender Policy is anchored in Article 6 (d) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC where Partner States committed to adhere to the principles of democracy, the rule of law, accountability, transparency, social justice, equal opportunities, gender equality, as well as recognition, promotion and protection of human and people’s rights in accordance with the provisions of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights of 1986.

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certified

EAC to launch Gender Policy in Arusha

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 13th September, 2018: The East African Community Secretariat will launch a Gender Policy that seeks an inclusive community which guarantees equal rights and opportunities for women and men, boys and girls. The launch of the EAC Gender Policy is scheduled to take place on 17th September, 2018 at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The EAC Gender Policy is anchored in Article 6 (d) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC where Partner States committed to adhere to the principles of democracy, the rule of law, accountability, transparency, social justice, equal opportunities, gender equality, as well as recognition, promotion and protection of human and people’s rights in accordance with the provisions of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights of 1986.

The EAC Gender Policy has been developed to provide guidance on institutionalizing gender strategies in the EAC integration agenda in order to ensure that the rights of women and men, boys and girls are promoted, protected and realized on an equal basis.

The policy further aims at strengthening the mainstreaming of gender concerns in the planning and budgetary processes of all sectors in the EAC Organs, Institutions and Partner States

The launch will be followed by the regional training of trainers on the EAC Gender Policy and Gender mainstreaming to the staff in the EAC Organs, Institutions and Partner State Ministries for effective policy implementation with a lens of gender equality.

The training is based on the recommendation of the Participatory EAC Gender Audit conducted in 2013 that emphasizes the review of the current Training Strategy/Program at the Secretariat to enhance gender mainstreaming capacities for the EAC Staff.

The expected outcome of the training will be to increased knowledge, skills and level of awareness among the participants; Clear recommendations for EAC Organs, Institutions and Partner States on Gender mainstreaming adopted and implemented, and; changes in work practices within the EAC Secretariat, Organs and Institutions among other.

Notes to Editors

The development of the EAC Gender Policy was in compliance with the directive of the 25th Meeting of the Council of Ministers (EAC/CM25/Dir25) of August 2012 whereby the Council directed the Secretariat to develop policies on Gender Equality, Youth, Children, Social Protection and Community Development.

The EAC Gender Policy has been developed to provide guidance on institutionalizing gender strategies in the EAC integration agenda in order to ensure that the rights of women and men, boys and girls are promoted, protected and realized on an equal basis.

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certified


East African Community
EAC Close
Afrika Mashariki Road
P.O. Box 1096
Arusha
United Republic of Tanzania

Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
Email: eac@eachq.org