Top Zimbabwean Government women leaders on 30 September launched a US$1 million Zimbabwe Women Investment Fund, aimed at mobilising resources to enhance women’s participation in the mainstream economy. They aim to grow the fund to US$25 million within 3 years, according to a report in The Herald newspaper (www.herald.co.zw).
The fund was reportedly initiated by Minister of Regional Integration and International Co-operation Mrs Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga. It will be administered by Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe. The initial capital is to be raised by issuing 100,000 shares at US$10 each.
The “private equity” fund would invest in short- and medium-term projects to provide both income returns and capital growth for members, and its investments could include listed and unlisted companies. Emphasis would also be on ensuring that women at “grassroot” levels benefit.
The trustees are Mrs Misihairambwi-Mushonga, Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development Dr Olivia Muchena, and the co-Minister of Home Affairs Mrs Theresa Makone.
Officially launching the fund, Vice President Joice Mujuru said the initiative was a demonstration that the time for Zimbabwean women to occupy their rightful space in the economy had come: “No non-oil exporting country has ever made the transition from developing country to developed country without the significant empowerment of women. It is quite apparent that the women of Zimbabwe are having a new economic empowerment vision, which can best be facilitated by women accessing financial and other resources.
“The establishment of this fund will facilitate the participation of Zimbabwean women in Africa’s growth, the establishment of a robust financial system and our progression from a developing nation to a global competitive society.”