LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The much awaited Federation of National Association of Women in Business in Eastern and Southern Africa’s (FEMCOM) magnificent complex needs between US$50 million and US$80 million for its completion.
The need for the complex funds comes after Malawi government allocation 10 acres along Kanengo and Lumbadzi M1 road in the capital Lilongwe.
FEMCOM’s ultra-modern headquarters will comprise of administration offices, trade, exhibition, press and media centres among others.
With the dynamic business environment across the region of 19-member states of Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the facility is also expected to host international business conference for women for their economic empowerment.
Despite growing perception that the social environment would be receptive to the claims for conducive environment to the women entrepreneur, with the completion of the complex, the rhetoric of gender equality will turn into reality.
FEMCOM Board chairperson Joanne Mwangi Yelbert told the news conference in the capital Lilongwe that the construction of the facility will take three years before completion.
Yelbert emphasized the need for member states to cooperate in providing timely funding for the project saying is spirit heralds a new vista of hope, good will and opportunity for regional women in business.
She therefore lauded Malawi government for the land given earmarked for the complex saying it’s a reflection of African spirit of compassion and generosity.
On how much is the contribution from each member country, the board chairperson was non-committal considering that head of states have not yet met but targets will be given at the right time.
“We are urging the fast track of the project which requires between US$50 million and US$80 million to be completed within three years. Currently, we need funds to kick start constructing the facility which will be the first of its kid.
“It’s a regional initiative; therefore we expect member states to contribute generously the way Malawi has done by providing land for the facility. However, apart from waiting funds from member states, FEMCOM has lined up a number of activities sourcing funds for the project,” assures Yelbert.
FEMCOM is a COMESA institution, established in July 1993 with endorsement of the Authority made up of Heads of State and Governments of the COMESA member states, under Article 55 of the COMESA Treaty.
The regional federation was founded on the idea that regional economic integration cannot be seen to have succeeded without the full involvement and equal participation of women in business.
FEMCOM has national chapters in all 19 COMESA member states namely Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
It develops women entrepreneurship in the COMESA region and beyond through programs that promote, encourage and serve the needs of women and their businesses working in smart collaboration with relevant partners.