Stanbic Bank Zambia Limited has continued to win awards due to its performance and support of the different sectors in Zambia. This time around the bank is being recognized for supporting women entrepreneurs in Zambia by the African Women's Entrepreneurship Programme (AWEP) Pan – Africa. The AWEP Pan Africa was inaugurated in 2011 and registered in June 2016. It seeks to take advantage of the offerings of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) including enabling a range of duty free products to enter the US market. A central thrust is to enable African women and men to participate in the American market, using regional linkages, policies and strategies.
In order to address the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets for the achievement of economic equality and gender equality, AWEP Pan-Africa has restructured itself. Therefore, on 25th September 2016 at VIP Country Club, New York, USA, our First Lady H.E. Mrs. Esther Lungu was inducted as the very first Chairperson of 48 Pan African countries in a ceremony presided over by Mrs. Sylvia Banda, President of AWEP Pan Africa who bestowed the instruments of power upon the First Lady. In accepting the honor she promised to champion the cause of SME women in business in Africa. "That is my assurance," she said. Moreover AWEP Pan Africa would now operate under two umbrellas, the General Council whose members would be representatives from the private sector, financial establishments, Foundations, captains of industry, civil society, and member country governmental representatives, representatives from the 48 member countries, Africans in Diaspora and liaison officer from U.S. State Department; and the Management Council comprising the Secretariat. Several draft resolutions were also crafted.
During this ceremony, Stanbic Bank Zambia was awarded as the 1st AWEP Pan Africa Award for its support given to women entrepreneurs in Zambia. Speaking at the event after receiving the award, Stanbic Bank Head of Personal and Business Banking said, “Stanbic Bank is integral to the development of the local economy. As a Bank we continue to focus on key economic growth sectors of this country. Our support of women entrepreneurs is one way in which we have contributing to the growth of this Nation that we call home”.
Mrs. Chibesakunda further added, “As a bank we are grateful for this award as it recognizes our ability to navigate complex financial and regulatory environments that assists women entrepreneurs to achieve their long-term growth ambitions”.
Stanbic Bank has more than 8,000 SME Clients and these have created employment for more than 160,000 Zambia’s across the country. SMEs create employment and provide services where the larger corporates are usually not able to. Stanbic Bank is truly moving Zambia forward.