More than a hundred of Lusaka’s most influential women joined Stanbic this week for the launch of its Anakazi banking solution, a new banking proposition that seeks to equip Zambian women with the skills they need to succeed in business.
Minister in the Vice President’s Office, Sylvia Chalikosa, was part of the glamorous female who’s who list at the Taj Pamodzi Hotel, as she implored Zambian women to take advantage of business solutions that sought to uplift their well-being.
The women at the launch included company executives, government officials, business women as well as representatives of industries such as arts and music.
Mrs Chalikosa said Anakazi Banking was complementing several government efforts aimed at uplifting the welfare of women.
“Stanbic has done well to recognise the simple woman; the woman who breaks her back to look after her family; the woman who’s educating her family and who’s selling fruits and vegetables to support her family,” she said.
“The government welcomes all co-operating partners who have similar initiatives to join in as we look at women’s issues collectively. We will support programmes of this nature.”
The launch was preceded by an alluring catwalk fashion show that showcased trendy fashion designs for ‘real women’ as well as a parade of women representing all walks of life who Stanbic’s new banking proposition seeks to target.
Anakazi Banking focuses on both increased access to finance and capacity building activities for women entrepreneurs. These platforms include training, mentorship and networking events to build knowledge in business management and access to markets, as well as assistance in business formalisation.
It is Stanbic’s bold move to boost Zambian women’s involvement in business and entrepreneurship since the bank became the first Zambian financial institution to join the Global Banking Alliance for Women, a global consortium of financial institutions dedicated to supporting banks as they capture the Women’s Market, in February.
Bank of Zambia Deputy Governor for Administration, Dr Tukiya Kankasa-Mabula congratulated Stanbic for coming up with the Anakazi Banking proposition, stating that the central bank could already see opportunities opening up for women to accelerate wealth creation, prosperity, peace and stability.
“This is exactly what the women of Zambia need to excel. Financial assistance from financial institutions can put women in a good position, considering that a majority of them do have business acumen that is not supported by funding,” Dr Kankasa-Mabula said.
She said Zambia had a large number of women who for years had been running stunted business ventures because they lack the knowledge, exposure and assistance to enable them succeed.
Stanbic Bank Chief Executive Officer Charles Mudiwa said although women made up the larger percentage of the Zambian population, few made use of banking services.
Mr Mudiwa urged women across Zambia to take advantage of the offer for increased access to financial services to succeed in business.