Women in Business Association(WIBA) recently held its periodicgeneral meeting whereTumi Mbaakanyi, the President of WIBAand Chartered Accountant at MmemmeCertifi ed Public Accountants urged fellowwomen to take advantage of opportunitiesthat come their way.The purpose of the meeting was to briefWIBA members of its milestones, challengesand business opportunities that currentlyexist in the market.Mbaakanyi said that there are currentlymany opportunities in both the public andprivate sectors that are available to women,urging women to boldly step up and takeadvantage of them. One of the opportunitiescurrently available that Mbaakanyi sharedis the Centre for Development’s WomenEntrepreneurship Development Plan.
Thisa private sector development programmewhere 30-50 women with innovative businessesin agro-processing, manufacturing,leather, arts and crafts, ICT, services andtourism sectors will be selected to undergoa three year long capacity building, mentoring,networking and training initiative.Mbaakanyi further said that followinga resolution from this year’s BotswanaConfederation of Commerce Industryand Manpower (BOCCIM) conference,WIBA will at the next conference have aposition paper presenting business womenneed. “Maybe we need a women’s Ministryinstead of a Gender Affairs department,which includes both genders, as is the casein other countries such as South Africa. It iseasier in terms of facilitating policies relatingto women,” she noted.Some of the challenges highlighted atthe meeting was a tendency of women tobe absent at meetings and workshops, andlack of time management, with Mbaakanyilamenting that, “We need to abandon theexcuse of ‘African time’ and stop making ita joke because globally in doing business,those who don’t respect time will not betaken seriously in business.
I urge you tobe more participative.”WIBA was formed in 1990 as a committeeof BOCCIM and is an independent,non-governmental organization with theobjective of assisting all women in the businesssector. With 300 registered members,WIBA encourages women who own businessesto join the organization so as to networkwith other women as well as to havea competitive advantage that the organizationprovides through training, mentorship,information dissemination and businessperiodicworkshops that expose women toopportunities and operation skills.Mbaakanyi also encouraged women tosign up for the WIBA Golf Clinic, an annualgolf event where women get to networkwhile learning golf, of which she said isimportant to learn as a lot of business dealsare closed over a game of golf betweenbusiness men.