Dar Es Salaam, August 15, 2007—Two new
World Bank Group studies commissioned by Tanzania’s Ministry of Industry,
Trade, and Marketing, commend the government for progress in addressing
gender inequalities in policy and legislation and for recognizing the economic
contributions of women. They also suggest that Tanzania could at least
gain a percentage point of growth by removing obstacles to women’s entrepreneurship.
The reports, Gender and Economic Growth
Assessment and Voices of Women Entrepreneurs in Tanzania,
are part of a regional program led by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.
The program includes policy analysis, lines of credit to commercial banks
to support women’s programs, and practical training for women entrepreneurs.
IFC has carried out similar studies in Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda.
Stergomena Tax, Permanent Secretary of the
Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Marketing, said, “Gender inequality is
an economic issue. Addressing it could have significant benefits not only
for women, but for the Tanzanian society.”
Gender and Economic Growth Assessment
in Tanzania underscores the importance of addressing legislative issues
and cultural norms. Voices of Women Entrepreneurs in Tanzania is
a complementary advocacy tool, based on a series of interviews with women
business owners across the country. The two reports are a result of extensive
consultations with public and private sector stakeholders. Recommendations
include strengthening women’s access to land, putting in place lines of
credit for on-lending to women entrepreneurs, and facilitating women’s
access to international markets.
Jean Philippe Prosper, IFC Senior Manager,
noted, “While Tanzania fares better in gender equality than some neighboring
countries, our research indicates that further reforms in the investment
climate are likely to have especially significant benefits for female-owned
Amanda Ellis, Head of IFC’s gender program,
which led the study, commended the Tanzanian government for its efforts
to empower women’s economic well-being, urging it to ensure the recommendations
are acted upon for the benefit of women, as well as men.
Positive change is underway in Tanzania.
With access to finance identified as the key challenge facing women, IFC
has collaborated with EXIM Bank to put in place a $5 million line of credit
for on-lending to women entrepreneurs. The reports also found a need for
practical training for women entrepreneurs who seek export opportunities,
and work is underway in this area. IFC has hosted several workshops for
women on accessing international trade opportunities in Dar es Salaam and
The studies are available on IFC’s Web site
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth
in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing
capital in the international financial markets, and providing advisory
services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that poor people
have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY06,
IFC committed $8.3 billion, including syndications, to 284 investments
in 66 developing countries. For more information, please visit www.ifc.org.