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Updates on the Deliverable Announcements Made at the 2013 African First Ladies Summit

Article by Charity Wallace August 6, 2014 //   11 minute read

At the Bush Institute’s African First Ladies Summit in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in July 2013, a number of key new initiatives were announced.  The outcomes of the announcements are encouraging. Combined, these organizations and their programs have raised over $18 million and reached over 4.3 million women and children worldwide.  They are operating in 13 African countries: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

The Announcements were:

Business Women, created by the ExxonMobil Foundation and the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, is a new mobile phone technology program developed to assist women entrepreneurs in Tanzania in overcoming barriers to scaling up their businesses by providing essential business tips via their mobile device. 

Her Farm Radio, an initiative of Farm Radio International, will work with radio stations in Africa to develop new programs ideally suited to meet the needs of women farmers.

World Vision launched its Strong Women, Strong World campaign, which over a five-year period aims to raise $35,000,000 for projects in 14 African countries to address the very important issues of maternal and child health; water, sanitation and hygiene; education and leadership development; entrepreneurship; and education and advocacy justice.

Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon announced expansion to Tanzania which will continue the commitment of this partnership to combat cervical and breast cancer on the African continent.

  • PEPFAR is committing $3,000,000 to expand the screening and treatment of women with cervical cancer, and as part of this commitment, delivered 16 new cryotherapy machines to the country this month.  
  • UNAIDS has committed $100,000 over three years to help promote the engagement of women living with HIV to ensure that HIV and cervical cancer services are a part of a comprehensive approach to women’s health, and to help decrease the stigma and discrimination that has often proven to be a barrier to women accessing the care and support they require.
  • Merck and Komen will provide $500,000 for HPV vaccination, sensitization and awareness.  Merck has donated two cryotherapy machines to Jhpiego-Tanzania, a Ministry of Health and Social Welfare partner, to help scale-up cervical cancer screening in the country.  They have also provided two loop electrosurgical excision procedure machines to Tanzania Health Promotion Support, to provide advanced treatment to women with cervical lesions in Tanzania.
  • The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, through its Secure the Future® Program, will designate $1,200,000 over the next three years to Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon in Tanzania through the deployment of Technical Assistance Teams to assist with community outreach and mobilization, along with community systems strengthening.

In the past year, each of these initiatives has made marked strides in improving the welfare of women globally. The outcomes from the announcements follow:

Business Women

This three-stage project involves researching, testing, and evaluating mobile services that can help women entrepreneurs develop their businesses. Business Women has reached over 100,000 women to date.

The Business Women service was delivered through the Nokia Life and Nokia Life+ platforms, so that women could receive business training through the mobile phone. Business Women was first launched in Nigeria as a text message based service. The service was then tailored for women entrepreneurs in Indonesia and Tanzania.

“The application was the first tool in my life to teach me how to do business. The application is encouraging and inspiring. As women, we should take the opportunity to be independent and not just rely on our husband’s money.”
-       Catharina, German language skills trainer and make-up saleswoman, Indonesia

The interest for business training through the mobile phone was overwhelming. In Nigeria, the greatest number of subscribers reached over 71,000 women, in Indonesia over 14,000 and in Tanzania over 15,000.

In addition to the mobile service element, the project involves hands-on classroom training sessions that focus on business development and operations, financial literacy, marketing, supply chain management and other skills that are central to running and sustainably growing a successful enterprise.

“Before the training I did not control the transactions I made. My receipts for the flour, eggs and other ingredients, I just used to throw them away. Now I know the importance of keeping a record. Now I know how my business is developing. When I compared my income to my husband's I realized that I make more money than him. On good days I make 500,000 ($43 USD) rupiah a day – the minimum wage for this region is 70,000 rupiah a day.”
-       Asma, bakery owner, Indonesia

At the end of the financial year, the service was operational in Nigeria, Indonesia and Tanzania.

Nokia has since chosen to close down Nokia Life across all of its markets which, as a consequence, led to the discontinuation of all mobile services which sat on the platform. This discontinuation has affected a number of organizations, including our Business Women service. Alternative platforms are currently being explored for future use of this kind of service, both within and outside the three test countries.

Her Farm Radio

Officially launched at the African First Ladies Summit in July 2013, Her Farm Radio has since launched seven projects and reached an estimated two million women in Africa.  An initiative of Farm Radio International (FRI), it highlights projects that place particular focus on the voice and knowledge needs of women farmers across Africa. Studies show that women actively find ways to listen when they think a radio program is relevant to their lives. Through Her Farm Radio, FRI has been able to:

  • Engage women in audience research to ensure that radio programs meet their specific needs.
  • Focus on interventions with specific benefits for women, mothers and children.
  • Share female voices and perspectives in each show.
  • Engage female broadcasters and guests.
  • Include episodes that explore gender relations and men’s role in the health of the family.
  • Air programs at times when women tell us they are able to tune in.
  • Establish women-only community listening groups and MP3 radios to enhance access for women.
  • Have dedicated phone-in lines for women.
  • Ensure that women make up half of interviewees in project surveys, reviews and evaluations.

Her Farm Radio projects are not just about addressing women’s needs, but also about promoting gender equality in radio initiatives for agriculture and health, affecting the quality of life of both women and men.

Strong Women, Strong World

World Vision’s Strong Women, Strong World is operating in thirteen countries across the globe: Honduras, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mali, Niger, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Bangladesh and Cambodia.

This fund supports projects in some of the most difficult places in the world to be a girl or a woman, utilizing interlinked interventions which when addressed together create the greatest sustainable change. Strong Women, Strong World programs include projects focused on several different areas of engagement including child protection, health, economic protection, Christian witness, and water, sanitation and hygiene programs.

At the African First Ladies Summit in Tanzania last July, World Vision announced plans to raise $35 million dollars for Strong Women, Strong World. To date they have raised nearly $14 million dollars in funding, which is 40% of their goal and have already reached nearly 1.5 million people through their programs.


KickStart was created to break the poverty cycle and to create a new, successful, scalable, replicable, and sustainable solution to poverty.  KickStart is working in Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Burkina Faso, and Mali and has lifted over 700,000 people out of poverty. Co-founders Martin Fischer and Nick Moon believe that self-motivated private entrepreneurs managing small-scale enterprises can play a dynamic role in the economies of developing countries.

KickStart executives attended the First Ladies Summit in Tanzania.  At the Summit, they were introduced to Her Excellency Janet Museveni, First Lady of Uganda.  Following a demonstration by the KickStart team, H.E. Mrs. Museveni requested an official survey of KickStart’s irrigation pump and recommendation for adoption.  KickStart executives also had the opportunity to meet with the leadership team at Victoria Seeds, another Summit attendee, and have since installed KickStart pumps in Victoria Seeds’ demo plots in Kampala and Gulu. 

Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon

Since the Summit, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon has begun activities in the three Regions the partnership has targeted in Tanzania:  Iringa, Mbeya and the Lake Region (Mara, Mwanza and Shinyanga).  Support from Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon covers both public-sector and private, not-for-profit facilities and organizations to offer screening and treatment for pre-cancerous cervical lesions, as well as referral to advanced medical care for women who need it.

  • As a result of connections made at the Summit, the Bristol-Meyers Squibb Foundation has funded a Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon consortium of five Tanzanian non-governmental organizations to conduct grass-roots activities to bolster screening and treatment for cervical and breast cancer in the chosen three Regions of the country.  The Tanzania Youth Alliance (TAYOA), Wanawake Na Maendeleo (WAMA) Foundation, Mbeya HIV/Aids Network, T-MARC Tanzania and the Medical Women’s Association of Tanzania (MEWATA) are raising awareness about women's cancers, educating communities and medical providers about the diseases, helping women gain access to preventative care and managing mass outreach and screening campaigns.
  • The first major Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon activity in Tanzania was a two-day screening campaign in the Region of Mwanza in honor of International’s Women’s Day, on March 8, 2014. The presence of the First Lady of Tanzania, Mama Salma Kikwete, drew thousands of women:  5,228 were screened for breast cancer and 3,287 for cervical cancer.
  • To complement the community component, the commitment by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon in Tanzania has translated into equipment for hospitals and clinics and training for doctors and nurses to screen and treat women for cervical pre-cancer. In particular, PEPFAR has provided 16 cryotherapy machines to medical facilities in the three Regions. Mama Kikwete officially accepted the machines at the launch of the mass screening event on March 8.
  • Mama Kikwete has championed the cause of women’s cancer:  She has appeared before Parliament to explain the risk cancer poses to the lives of Tanzanian women, and to appeal for lawmakers' support in the form of additional domestic financial resources.