Afghanistan Women Chamber of Commerce and Industries held second 2019 consulting session on January 27, 2019 at AWCCI central office. The main purposes of the session were sharing 2018 accomplishments and commenting on 2019 strategic plan, networking between businesswomen and through this dividing them into sectorial and advocacy associations. In this session, AWCCI leadership and businesswomen from different sectors such as Handicraft, Jewelry, Logistics, Media and Dry fruit participated. Beside AWCCI members, a number of businesswomen from 1150 businesswomen of AWCCI database also attended this session.
At first, Ms. Manizha wafeq, President of AWCCI welcomed participants and shared the agenda with them. Afterwards, Ms. Parwarish Oryakhail, AWCCI Business Development Services Director shared the 2018 achievements with participants. She talked about remarkable achievements of 2018 such as, 5% priority for women in procurement by National Procurement Authority (NPA) , allocation of 15-25% Industrial park for SME’s and women, role of AWCCI in making Private Sector Development NPP, National Export strategy and National Trade Policy, holding and facilitating more than 25 exhibitions outside the country 15 exhibitions inside the Country, Weekly Juma Bazar in two locations of Kabul since July, 2018, a total of 321 women from Kabul and provinces attended above exhibitions, Conducting facilitating women’s participation in 6 Training outside the country, holding and facilitating 7 training inside the country, facilitating women’s participation in 13 conferences outside of the country, providing 160 women business owners with the above mentioned opportunities, participation of 8 women businesses in Dubai to sell their products in Global Village for six months for the very first time, Establishing first mini Industrial Park and 20 women recognized and provided business expansion support in four years of annual Bibi Khadija Award and AWCCI approval forever by H. E. Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the country. It is worth mentioning that opening and operationalization of AWCCI branches in North, West, East and West is one of the most important activities of AWCCI. Later on, she went through AWCCI major plans for 2019 are as following:· Legal awareness sessions in Kabul and 4 zones once in two weeks· Research in every quarter for finding women businesses capacity annd giving national contracts to women· Digital marketing and online advertisement for women businesses ·
Allocation of another industrial park to businesswomen · Women participation in international bazaars· Publishing a magazine about women businesses every quarter · Increasing the number of businesswomen · Women businesses expansion· Increase in the sales of women products and increase in number of women exporters· Quality improvement of services and products of businesswomenMs. Oryakhail added about “Made by Afghan Women” trademark that it is a trademark which will be granted to items produced by Afghan women with high quality, standardized packaging and label printing, to be sold in specific markets inside and outside of Afghanistan. Since initiative of the trademark was taken by AWCCI in collaboration with MoIC, with the approval of the President of the country, AWCCI has the privilege to grant this trademark to Afghan women’s products. The application form for using this trademark is shared via social media and first round of donating it will begin in March 2019. Besides, Ms. Wafeq highlighted that AWCCI has three continuous campaigns which are advertised through Hashtags in social media. 1. #UnifyingOurVoice is a campaign that AWCCI started for unifying women voices to be heard and their problems will be considered. 2. #LetsCollaborateforabetterResult is another campaign of AWCCI which is started for cooperation and collaboration between AWCCI and other related entities for getting a better result of activities. 3. #BuyfromAfghanwomenbusinesses is campaign of AWCCI for women products and services advertisements. AWCCI is using these campaigns as an effective tool for reaching 2019 goals.
Subsequently, Ms. Wafeq added that since AWCCI achieved 5 percent preference of government contracts to women, AWCCI is determined to divide women into associations based on their business sector so that they can get and complete the contracts successfully. She asked women to use existing opportunities in best way possible.
Ms. Wafeq stated, “31 influential businesswomen in Kabul and 4 zones are leading AWCCI, so we are the voice of women all over the country”. She emphasized AWCCI vision and mission which are Afghan women financial self-reliance and having their own place in society vision and representing businesswomen concerns and benefits in policy level mission.
Consequently, businesswomen provided their recommendations and comments regarding AWCCI 2019 plan and took the opportunity of networking with each other. Businesswomen introduced themselves and their businesses to each other and those who were working in the same sectors, expressed their interest to cooperating with each other.
Based on the MoU between AWCCI and Ghazanfar Bank Ms. Liza Obide, Deputy Chief Internal Audit was also invited to providing information about “Banoo” especial package of loan for women with much easier procedure, requirements, low interest rates, large amount of loan and longer period. Businesswomen talked to Ms. Obide about their challenges and problems in getting loans.