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Celebrating Afghanistan Women Chamber of Commerce and Industries 2nd Anniversary and International women’s day

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Date: March 12, 2019

Venue: Government Information and Media Center (GMIC)

AWCCI celebrated its 2nd Anniversary and International Women’s day on March 12, 2019 at Government Information and Media Center (GMIC) through a magnificent ceremony. This ceremony held with the presence of Dignitaries form government namely, H.E. Ms. Rula Ghani, First Lady of the Country; H.E. Ms. Nargis Nehan, Minister of Mines and Petroleum; H.E. Ms. Kamila Sidiqi, Deputy Minister of Trade, Ministry of Industry and Commerce; Representatives and Directors of national and international entities namely, Mr. Pierre Mayaudon, Ambassador of European Union; Ms. Eleta Millar, UNWOMEN Afghanistan Country Representative; Ms. Susanne E. Jelbert, Women In Government project of USAID Chief of Party, Ms. Noor Jahan Mawani, Ambassador of Agha Khan Development Network, Ms. Holly Holzer Bass, Representative of U.S. Embassy; Mr. Manzoor Khaliq, Country Representative for Afghanistan ILO(International Labor Organization) and representative of Japan embassy, and more than 150 Afghan businesswomen. This ceremony aimed to celebrate AWCCI’s 2nd Anniversary and International women’s day with a comprehensive program content.

The program started by the recitation of the Holy Quran by Ms. Maryam Sajadi and subsequently Ms. Afsana Rahimi, Chair of AWCCI Board of Directors welcomed all dignitaries to the ceremony and had review of the program agendas. She stated that women presence in today’s ceremony for celebrating second anniversary of AWCCI shows their commitment to their improvement, self-reliance and their role in country’s economy.

H.E. First Lady Ms. Rula Ghani, one of the main supporters of Afghan women economic development expressed her happiness for celebrating AWCCI’s second anniversary. “I am proud to be here in AWCCI second anniversary celebration and congratulate it to AWCCI team “said Ms. Rula Ghani. She stated that AWCCI had impressive achievement during past two years and their success made it possible to get the approval of H.E. Dr. Ashraf Ghani, President of the country and High Economic Council before completing 3 years. The First Lady appreciated the initiative of AWCCI for promotion of Buying from domestic and made by Afghan women products. Besides; she announced her support to Afghan women businesses once again.

Later on, H.E. Nargis Nehan, Minister of Mines and Petroleum, during her speech, said that AWCCI proved their effectiveness and on women economic development. She emphasized that women are not economic dependents rather they are economic partners. “Today we are not only working for women but we are working for our society, for country, for region and as a result for the world”. Ms. Nehan announced her support for buying from domestic products and encouraged women to invest on mining sector as well.

Afterwards, Ms. Manizha Wafeq, President and Co-Founder of AWCCI welcomed all dignitaries and Afghan businesswomen to the ceremony and added that in this month AWCCI for the sake of women unity international day provides a program with valued content which will really revive the main purpose of 8th March. In addition, Ms. Wafeq launched #MoreAfghanwomeninbusiness. For this campaign she said AWCCI will hold Entrepreneurship sessions for female students od universities and will encourage them to choose entrepreneurship as their occupation and to choose this option rather than working for others. #BuyfromAfghanwomenbusinesses continuous campaign also launched once again with sharing women companies profile in this ceremony.

Moreover, AWCCI for appreciating its supporters provided Appreciation boards with signature of afghan businesswomen to its two sponsors: Afghanistan International Bank (AIB), AWCCI 2019 trailblazer Sponsor and Roshan Telecommunication, women’s economic empowerment supporter.

Subsequently, H.E. Kamela Sediqi, Deputy Minister of Trade of Industry and Commerce Ministry congratulated 2nd anniversary of AWCCI and said that MoIC is ready for any support to Afghan businesswomen. Besides, she thanked the First Lady’s for her continuous support to businesswomen.

Afterwards, 12 Women-owned companies received the “Made By Afghan Women”) MBAW) certificate on 2nd anniversary of AWCCI on March 12, 2019. H.E. Ms. Rula Ghani, the First Lady of the country while presenting the Certificates of MBAW, congratulated women for receiving the MBAW trademark certificates and wished them success in preserving the values and standards of this trademark. 12 women-owned companies who received the MBAW trademark were as following: 1.       Rumi Trading LLC/ Kabul: This Company is led by Ms. Sona Mahmoodi and works in processing and packaging of dry fruits and saffron. 2.       Taranum Stuyle/ Kabul: This Company is led by Ms. Taranum Orya in Kabul and works in Handicrafts and clothing.3.       Saadat Banu/ Kabul: This Company is led by Ms. Shahla Saadat in Kabul and works in Jewelry sector.4.       Banu Processing and Packing Agricultural Production Company/ Herat: This Company is led by Ms. Maryam Jami ul Ahmadi in Processing and Packing Agricultural Production like pulses etc. 5.       Jamila Saadat Handicrafts and Carpet Weaving/ Nangarhar: This Company is led by Ms. Jamila Saadat and works in handicrafts and carpet weaving sector.6.       Donyaye Abrisham Tamasuki/ Herat: This Company is led by Ms. Sediqa Tamasuki and works in producing Silk products. 7.       Jama Saqeb Handicrafts Production Company/ Kabul: This Company is led by Ms. Mohsina Saqeb in Kabul and works in designing and clothing sector.8.       Afrosha/ Balkh: Afrosha is led by Ms. Soma Hashimi and works in Spaghetti production sector.9.       Kurta/ Kabul: Kurta is led by Ms. Wreshmen Sultani in Kabul and works in designing and clothing sector. 10.   Nawid Afghan/ Nangarhar: Ms. Adena Barakzai is leading Nawid Afghan Company in Nangarhar and works in handicrafts sector.11.   Marhaba Zarin/ Balkh: This Company is led by Ms. Mahboba Zamani and works in carpet weaving sector.

On the other hand, Mr. Peirre Mayaudon, Ambassador of European Union also congratulated AWCCI 2nd Anniversary and announced their support to Afghan businesswomen. He added, women with their economic participation can have a huge role in country’s improvement; hence, European Union consider the gender issue, 47% of their diplomatic services employees are women and 27% of ambassadors in European Union are women and allocated 5 million $ for Afghan women.

Moreover, AWCCI released the report of Women Companies production capacity in this ceremony. AWCCI has been tasked by H.E. President Ghani to organize women producers of each of the target sectors into associations and consortiums. AWCCI’s research unit started a survey in January 2019 to collect data on the production capacity of cloths, food, jewelry and leather sectors in seven provinces of: Kabul, Herat, Balkh, Samangan, Nangarhar, Kandahar, Parwan.

The objectives for this research were:

  • To identify women-owned businesses production capacity in each sector
  • To organize women companies based on their business sector to associations and consortiums
  • To identify women companies internal problems and capacity building to enhance ability of these businesses to bid for large contracts

At the end of this program, first volume of AWCCI magazine “Afghan Women in Business” was launched which consists AWCCI major news, Afghan businesswomen Biographies, Afghanistan’s economic news, biography of a successful businesswomen in international level. Program ended with taking a team picture.

Thanks to H. E. First Lady for her continuous support, to Ministry Of Industry and Commerce of Afghanistan’s Creative Industries Project and European Union Afghanistan for partnering to do the event, to AWCCI 2019 trailblazer sponsor Afghanistan International Bank #AIB and Roshan Connects for becoming our annual sponsor of 2019 Economic Empowerment Partner, to UNWOMEN Afghanistan for helping AWCCI to complete the report for the research Production Capacity