Addressing more than 200 women entrepreneurs from the Mainland and Zanzibar who gathered last Friday at the ongoing 46th International Trade Fair hosted in Dar es Salaam, to showcase one of the unique Tanzanian cultural dress code known as Batiki, Minister for Community Development, Gender, Women and Special Groups, Dr Dorothy Gwajima, encourage women to be innovative in the state-of-art.
She said that as the country prepares itself to join the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTR), it is high time for entrepreneurs in the touring and weaving sub-sectors to be innovative in designing products that can not only compete at the continental market but globally.
“Batiki is one of the unique dress codes that originate in Tanzania. All stakeholders from the business community must join hands in promoting Bakiti at the global level. This month next year we must have agreed on the specific timeline of celebrating Batiki as a pride of Tanzania,” said Dr Gwajima.
At the event, the minister declared July 8th as the national Batiki Day. The date will be the climax of the celebration as stakeholders are required to decide on the number of days for Batiki celebration.
Speaking of the government’s initiatives in women empowerment, the minister said that the government has during the 2021/22 fiscal year allocated 28bn/- for empowering women owned businesses in the Mainland.
“The money was extended to 4,894 women who were empowered to start new businesses and expand the existing ones. Generally, during the same financial year the government had allocated 62.6bn/- for empowering women, youth and people with disability. The money was extended to 7,963 beneficiaries,” said Dr Gwajima.
Roijok Progress Center Chief Executive Officer Rose Urio, said the center which is the originator of Batiki Day, is working with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation in promoting Batiki at the global level.
“There are almost 180 women entrepreneur groups engaged in the tailoring sub-sector from the Mainland. The groups have registered almost 800,000 members as of June this year,” said Urio.
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