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Report on training and planning with the zones

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Date: May 5-7, 2018

Venue: AWCCI Meeting Room

Afghanistan Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosted its Zonal Board of Directors and Managers for three days training on May 5, 2018. The Board of Directors and Managers from four provinces, such as Herat, Balkh, Kandahar and Nangarhar participated in three days training and planning program for the zone offices. The program was held in collaboration with CIPE (Centre for International Private Enterprise), Mr. Matiullah Murad, Program Manager from the CIPE facilitated two days part time training on Advocacy and Planning.

Ms. Manizha Wafeq, AWCCI President and Co-Founder welcomed all the participants. Later on Kabul Executive team had orientation with the participants from zones. Subsequently Ms. Manizha Wafeq shared the three days training schedule with the participants. According to the schedule Ms. Wafeq addressed the establishment of Leading Entrepreneur for Afghanistan Development (LEAD) and the change of its name to Afghanistan Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AWCCI). Ms. Wafeq said that, before different organizations worked on women development in a scattered way. The purpose of LEAD’s establishment was to represent Afghan women entrepreneur problems and to be hear their voice by relevant authorities. Ms. Wafeq added that this organization (LEAD) was founded by a group of active women in 2013 and officially launched its activities in 2014.  High Economic Council which chaired by H.E. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani the President of Afghanistan, A proposal was prepared for the name change of LEAD to AWCCI and is then presented to the Council and was approved in March 2017.

Ms. Wafeq also named the leading business women such as Ms. Afsana Rahimi and Ms. Nahid Hamidi who took highest membership to support the Chamber. Ms. Wafeq also thanked Afghan business people who cooperated in equipping the chamber in Kabul. Ms. Wafeq added about the MoU with Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MoIC) through which in four zone Directorates of Commerce of MoIC (Balkh, Herat, Kandahar, and Nangarhar) a room will be provided to AWCCI zone offices to proceed with activities and AWCCI team will be mainstream from all business affairs.

Ms. Manizha Wafeq in her presentation expressed that since we started working as LEAD; our vision is that Afghan Women and women Entrepreneurs are nationally and internationally recognized, and to recognize Afghan Women role in Afghanistan economic. Afghan women are the economic beneficiaries but the economic activists.  Also in Mission section, she said AWCCI mission is to have effective representation work to advance and secure Afghan women’s economic interests in national and international level, and a day come to increase number of women entrepreneur to thousands. Also in work strategy, we have two slogans 1. Unifying Our Voice and 2. Let’s Collaborate. Unifying Our Voice mean is to involve women entrepreneur and business women in exhibitions, advocacy issues that jointly will advocate in a democratic way. in Let’s Collaborate our partners are government, international society and other organizations. Through our this slogan, “Let’s Collaborate”, we have signed several MoUs, for instant, with Afghanistan International Bank (AIB) that provide loan facilities to our member with 7.5% interest rate.

In the next section, Ms. Wafeq explained the organizational structure of the zone offices and consequently achievements of LEAD from 2014 to 2017 as LEAD and AWCCI. Ms. Wafeq added that just from April to December of 2017 we had 665 participations in 31 national and international programs; about 12 of them were facilitated by AWCCI, which shows the advantage of having chamber. In addition, we had media coverage which included about 100 programs and interviews in Kabul. In addition, Ms. Wafeq said that plan of 2018 will be presented by Ms. Parwarish Oryakahil in second day of training.

Ms. Nahid Hamidi Vice Chair of Trade AWCCI Board of Director, also welcomed the participants and said that women should have the motivation to work so they can achieve their goals.

After lunch break, Mr. Matiullah Murad, The Program Manager of CIPE, first welcomed the participants and had a round of introduction and presented the presentation on Advocacy and Business Planning. In his words, Mr. Murad briefed the importance of economy and economic growth in a country. He added that economy is the foundation of life. In next section Mr. Murad delivered a presentation on advocacy and kinds of advocacy. He said advocacy is a democratic way for seeking rights in legal way.  Mr. Murad presentation covered these topics: Process and Procedure of Advocacy, Advocacy Groups, Persons and Entities that can bring changes, Technics and Effective Ways for advocacy and so on.

In the next section, Mr. Shahid Ali, Trainer of Management  Science Department from Khana-e-Noor University that was appointed from CIPE to have presentation on Membership Organization. Mr. Shahid Ali presented information through a presentation based on these questions: How to grow? What is Chamber of Commerce? Which activities are included and what are he benefits for its members? Who leads the chamber? Who can be a member? How to become member of it? How much to pay to become a member of a chamber?

Mr. Shahed Ali described each of these question with example. At the end of the session, Mr. Matiullah Murad and Mr. Shahid Ali answered the participants’ questions.

Ms. Parwarish Oryakhail, Director of Business Development Service of AWCCI, presented report of 2017 to the participants. Ms. Oryakhail said that one of activities of 2017 was the name change from LEAD to AWCCI. The name change was approved by the Afghanistan High Economic Council, based on a proposal from LEAD leadership. She added after that we have seats in Councils such as Economic High Councils, Working Groups and Committees. Also we have started campaign to by from Afghan Women products, taking office in Kabul, General Assembly and election of 11 members as Boards, members reaching100 women business, opportunity of meeting with H.E. Muhammad Ashraf Ghani, President of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and requesting space for mini industrial parks, Booths for women in Directorate of Medium Taxpayers and Afghanistan Central Business Registry (ACBR), 5% preference for women businesses in National Procurement Procedure, introduction of 250 women to 31 various programs, holding exhibitions as Bazar Roz, providing opportunities for trainings, Law review committee lead by Ms. Sultana Khaknizhad the Legal Expert of AWCCI, she reviews each article of the law and then take suggestion of the participants for the change, division of women according to their sector and work, established English language class, recruitment of two new employee including Parwarish Oryakhail, Director of Business Development Service and Shazia Stanekzai Public and International Relations Officer, participation of 20 women in RECCA Conference. Ms. Oryakhail explained each of them.

Later on, Ms. Parwarish  Oryakhail shared 2018 plan with the participants, the highlight is:

1.      Starting a program for collection of information of at least 200 women for SAARC website and training of them for Digital Marketing.

  1. Conducting training courses on Manufacturing Management, Quality, Finance and Marketing.
  2. Holding 3 rounds of training for startups, one of that is ongoing.
  3. Conducting business Match-making with businesses.
  4. Market Day (Bazar-e-Roz) every two months for special occasions such as Women’s Day, Nowruz and Eid in coordination with the Ministry of Commerce and Rural Development
  5. 4 Booklet-One per Quarter
  6. Research on Businesswomen problems-One per
  7. Found grant which cover 90% of expenses for the standardization of women businesses.
  8. Certifying women business in collaboration with (Weconnect).

In the next session a video played which showed three women companies such as Maza Tu Company of candy owned by Ms. Zakya Roshan, Farah Farhat Faizi Company of soup owned by Ms. Kobra Dastgirzada and Bread manufacturing company Fine Foods owned by Ms. Somaya Rezaye.

Consequently Ms. Manizha Wafeq shared Strategic Plan of AWCCI with the participants. She explained how AWCCI holds meetings with Boards of Directors and Advisory. She added that since zone offices are new, Board memebrs can hold weekly meetings to set the things up. Later on zone managers can prepared a time table (schedule) for holding meetings each month or once in two months. Ms. Wafeq in addition added about the selection of Advisory Board that can be from high ranking government official or persons that in various section advise can be taken from, they just give advise not make decision. In provincial level you can have 6 persons as Advisory Board, 3 of them can be male and 3 other can be female. Ms. Wafeq also added that 5 Board of Directors can divide their responsibilities by titling their positions based on their qualification in each sector as one person can be Chair of the Board rest members can be Trade Vice Chair of the Board, Vice Chair Advocacy, Vice Chair Public and International Relations and Vice Chair Finance and Operation.

After that Board of Directors and Advisory of Kabul office had introduction with Zone Board of Directors and Zone Managers.

In the next section, Mr. Matiullah Murad from CIPE worked in group on Action Plan with the participants and provided essential information to them.

Third day session was facilitated by AWCCI executive team from Kabul through a presentation. First presentation carried out by Ms. Shazia Stanekzai Public and International Relations officer and Mahdi Niazi IT assistant. Ms. Stanekzai explained her responsibilities such as, Development of relation with members and other organizations, Newsletter production, Report, Success Business stories (English/Dari), Prepare Booklet Quarterly of AWCCI members, Arrange media related special events of AWCCI/Press Release, Maintain communications with all relevant Zone offices Board of Directors and Managers, promote AWCCI activities through social media. Mr. Niazi explained AWCCI website and briefed each Menu and Tabs for reports, News, Research, Membership profile, also providing technical assistance in IT issues at office.

In next section Ms. Zainab Abdulahi Finance and Operation officer with her assistance Ms. Ramzia Hajizada explained all HR procedure through a presentation. Ms. Abdulahi explained finance and administration system, operation and logistic of AWCCI to the participants. Next presentation carried out by Ms. Farahanaz Hakimi Business Development Services assistan. Ms. Hakimi explained AWCCI membership form and its conditions, introduction of women to exhibitions, sharing information through emails. Next, Ms. Zainab Yousofi Research and Development assistant, explained the procedure of research, Monitoring and Evaluations of programs and Data Entry of Women businesses in Database. The last presentation carried out by Ms. Salma Alami Legal Expert assistant. Ms. Alami said that Ms. Sultana Khaknizha who is Legal Expert of AWCCI, carried legal and advocacy trainings for the members; I assist her in these issues.

After the end of presentation by executive team of AWCCI, all the participants had commitment to improve AWCCI in zones and will perform nonstop efforts and struggle for the improvement of chamber and women’s economy.

At the end a group photo was taken and all participants departed to their provinces