NMB & MCL Partnership: Igniting a New Era of Tanzanian Women’s Resilience

Rising Woman Initiative

NMB's Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Ruth Zaipuna, and the Chief Executive Director of Mwananchi Communication LTD, Mr. Bakari Machumu, shaking hands during the launch of Rising Woman Online in front of NMB Bank employees, Mwananchi Communications staff, and members of the press. I Courtesy: NMB

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Awakened by a quiet morning that paradoxically left me weary, I felt the call to arms—a battle against poverty! Yes, the mission is singular: Rise and chase your dreams with relentless vigor.

Invited to the grand launch of a monumental event in the country, I set out with high expectations. But lo and behold, I found myself trapped in the notorious Dar es Salaam traffic jam, right at the intersection where Posta Road meets the Morocco traffic lights. Curious to know how this adventure unfolds?

Just then, amidst the gridlock, I spotted two sisters—entrepreneurs in their own right—peddling baskets of impeccable quality, along with an eclectic mix of female and male shoes. Their humble venture left me pondering in a world teeming with technological marvels and scientific breakthroughs: Does their trade choice signify a failure to adapt, or is it a testament to timeless resilience?

At last, I made it! I arrived at the headquarters of NMB Bank in Tanzania for the exclusive event to which I was invited.

The turnout was staggering! Even top leaders from various institutions made their appearance alongside NMB. This left me with a burning question: What’s the secret sauce behind a bank that’s not only bagged three international awards?

Rising Woman Initiative
NMB Bank received three awards in 2023 as Best Bank in Tanzania, Best Specialized Customer Bank, and Best Personal and Business Customer Bank from the Euromoney Excellence Awards and the Global Banking and Finance Review.

Wait a minute, are you in the loop? NMB Bank just pulled off a hat trick, snagging THREE prestigious awards in 2023—from the esteemed Euromoney Excellence Awards to the illustrious Global Banking and Finance Review accolades.

The Grand Launch Exposed: What Was NMB Hiding in Plain Sight?

I managed to overhear one of NMB’s employees answering his phone and moments later declaring, “Nina tukio kubwa sana Dar es Salaam Bro, Hii ni brand kubwa, Mambo Makubwa!”. I was utterly delighted.

It’s a national affair offering opportunities galore for Tanzanians!

As of September 13, 2023, Mwananchi Communications Limited was thrilled to announce the official opening of the “Rising Woman Online” platform. This groundbreaking digital platform is an extension of The Citizen Rising Woman initiative and aims to revolutionize the field of women’s leadership and empowerment. The platform is designed to serve women across Tanzania and beyond, ranging in age from 18 to 65 and coming from various educational and professional backgrounds.

The Promising Partnership Began

This is a strategic partnership with NMB Bank, which joins as the exclusive financial inclusion partner for the “Rising Woman Online” platform. The association is facilitated through NMB Bank’s product called “NMB Mwanamke Jasiri.” This collaboration is highlighted as a shared commitment between Mwananchi Communications Limited and NMB Bank to advance the cause of women’s leadership and empowerment in Tanzania.

Rising Woman Initiative

So, What’s the Heartbeat of the Mission? At its core, Rising Woman Online is on a quest to arm women with the skills and know-how they need to ascend the leadership ladder, be it in the public or private sector. Operating under the electrifying theme “Empower Her Nexus: Cultivating Leadership and Fostering Connections,” the platform has its sights set on nothing less than global impact and competitiveness.

What Sets Rising Woman Online Apart?

In just three years, Rising Woman Online has amassed a treasure trove of over 200 success stories from women who’ve made strides in various fields, including business. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The platform offers a year-round sanctuary for women to form public and private groups, sparking discussions on various topics.

Rising Woman Initiative

Committed to inspiring, recognizing, and celebrating women in leadership and business, it goes the extra mile by actively bolstering women’s financial stability—think business ads, career opportunities, and even tenders.

Published on April 13, 2022, by The Citizen, an article took us on a nostalgic journey through the second season of the Rising Woman Initiative. Kicking off on January 27, 2022, the season outdid itself by profiling 72 women, smashing its original goal of 60 profiles. Born on February 1, 2021, and fueled by the relentless efforts of its team, the initiative is now gearing up for its blockbuster third season in 2023 with the official launching of the online platform.

The Visionary Blueprint: Mwananchi & NMB Directors Weigh In

Bakari S. Machumu, the Managing Director of Mwananchi Communications Limited, can barely contain his excitement for this trailblazing initiative. The grand plan? To create an online haven where women can engage year-round, learning from the best and brightest, sparking innovation, and consistently celebrating and creating opportunities for these extraordinary women.

So, what sets them apart? It’s their leap from analog to digital, amplifying networking opportunities for female entrepreneurs.

“NMB still believes in the power of partnerships. Collaborating with various companies is the only way we can reach more Tanzanians. All tenders and opportunities announced by NMB will also be featured on the Rising Woman website,” Ms Ruth Zaipuna, the Chief Executive Officer, elaborated.

What Advantages Can a Person Benefit From?

Through the “Rising Woman Online” platform, a woman in Tanzania can gain invaluable access to resources, training, and networking opportunities that can propel her career or business to new heights. The platform offers diverse content, from skill-based training modules to success stories, that can serve as educational material and inspiration.

Whether she is an aspiring entrepreneur, a professional looking to climb the corporate ladder, or someone interested in personal development, the platform provides the tools and community support to help her achieve her goals.

Moreover, the platform’s focus on financial stability and empowerment offers tangible benefits. Women can find business ads, career opportunities, and even tenders directly aligned with their skills and interests.

The platform’s partnership with NMB Bank also opens doors to financial products and services tailored for women, making it easier for them to manage their finances and invest in their future. In a society where women often face financial and professional barriers, “Rising Woman Online” is a comprehensive resource for empowerment and success.

Our Take on Ways to Improve the Platform Moving Forward

The launch of this platform and the union between Mwananchi Communications Limited and NMB Bank marks a seismic shift towards gender equality and empowerment in leadership roles. It’s more than a platform; it’s a pledge to champion women in leadership, foster connections, and illuminate a brighter future for all.

So, where’s the room for improvement? This is the best initiative ever to happen in the country, and we believe the collaboration between these institutions will take this platform to new heights.

But there’s more work to be done in outreach and awareness. With countless women across Tanzania, especially outside Dar es Salaam, needing this service and information, Rising Woman Initiative needs to have local ambassadors and organize various events that could serve as career-building platforms to engage with the community and understand their needs better directly.

Regarding Accessibility, Low-Bandwidth Optimization ensures the platform works well on low-bandwidth connections, which are common in many parts of Tanzania. Offline Access provides options for offline access to important content, as consistent internet access may not be available everywhere.

Many are educated but lack extensive knowledge in the practical application of science and technology, especially in this digital age. More marketing efforts are needed to reach a broader audience such as utilizing local radio and television stations to advertise the platform, as these mediums have wide reach. Also, Collaborating with local organizations, schools, and community centers to promote the platform.

What about Accessibility Features for those with disabilities? Following Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is crucial for making any platform genuinely inclusive. Features such as screen readers, voice commands, and easy navigation options can significantly affect user experience.

By incorporating these elements, the platform can ensure that it is accessible to everyone, regardless of physical or cognitive limitations. This broadens the user base and aligns with principles of social responsibility and inclusivity.

Rising Woman Initiative should localize Content that can be offered in Swahili to make the platform more accessible and tailor content to reflect local customs, traditions, and societal issues.

Moreover, it’s imperative that we forge unswerving, steadfast strategies to illuminate the lives of all citizens with a consistent glow that leave an indelible mark of positivity.

Now, a question lingers for NMB and Mwananchi Communications Limited: As the initiative stories focus on women in managerial roles, should it consider women at the grassroots level for a more holistic approach to empowerment?

We are intrigued to see how this question can reshape the future of women’s leadership!

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