By Oiva Angula 25 March 2013

Telecom Namibia announced its commitment to continue sponsoring the Namibian Businesswomen Projects for the next three years at the first networking breakfast meeting attended by about 120 businesswomen and female professionals organised by the Economist Business Club in Windhoek last Friday.

Telecom Namibia’s senior manager of Corporate Communications and Public Relations, Oiva Angula, said the financial sponsorship of over N$207,000 given for this year is in line with its continuing support of initiatives that sustain community development, a core component of the company’s corporate social responsibility mandate in order to contribute positively through active participation in the growth and development of the country.

Angula said Telecom Namibia’s support for these women initiatives further enhances the company’s already strong position in Namibian society and demonstrates its support to enhance women’s capacity and empower them to fully participate in social and economic spheres of society.

"Though women need capital for their businesses, it is important to empower them through skills training and mentoring programmes for by doing so they will be able to face their day to day challenges in their life and the community they live with," Angula said.

He said that part of the funds will be used to host the upcoming Namibian Businesswoman of the Year Award slated for later this year. The initiative is a unique programme which recognises the work of high achieving women across a variety of fields. For the past years, the programme has been recognising, rewarding and celebrating the achievements of inspirational Namibian women who have pushed the boundaries and dared to dream.

This year’s award will be held under the patronage of Nangula Uaandja, winner of the Businesswomen of the Year 201 award, and who is also managing partner and director of PricewaterhouseCoopers Namibia.

Other activities to be funded under the sponsorship are the popular Northern Businesswomen Conference slated for August this year, as well as the Katuka Mentorship Programme that kicked off two weeks ago with 40 mentees and mentors. A number of networking breakfast meetings will also be organised throughout 2013 to discuss a variety of topics for women’s professional and personal development.

Over and above the sponsorship, Angula said that Telecom Namibia has committed itself to provide a bursary each year towards the education of a deserving female to study at a recognised institution as a way of empowering women to take up positions of responsibility in society. Other activities to be funded under the sponsorship are the popular Northern Businesswomen Conference slated for August this year, as well as the Katuka Mentorship Programme that kicked off two weeks ago with 40 mentees and mentors. A number of networking breakfast meetings will also be organised throughout 2013 to discuss a variety of topics for women’s professional and personal development.

Over and above the sponsorship, Angula said that Telecom Namibia has committed itself to provide a bursary each year towards the education of a deserving female to study at a recognised institution as a way of empowering women to take up positions of responsibility in society.

“As in the past, the screening and selection process will still be done by the Selection Committee chaired by Prof Agnes van Dyk. The only change is that this will now be known as the Telecom Namibian Businesswomen Bursary Fund,” Angula explained.

At least seven networking breakfast meeting were held last year, while the 13th Northern Businesswomen Conference took place at Oshakati on 9 August last year. The latter was attended by 145 delegates from the northern regions representing 123 businesses. Also, 22 mentors and mentees participated in the 2012 Katuka Mentorship Programme, bringing the number of female entrepreneurs and businesswomen who completed the programme to 235 to date.

Telecom Namibia has been a sponsor of the Namibian Businesswomen Projects for the last nine years. “It is a privilege to be associated with programmes that either empower women or showcase the excellent calibre and quality of talented women in our country,” Angula said.

“At Telecom Namibia, our belief regarding the empowerment of women is simple: stronger women make stronger communities. We understand that creating economic opportunities for women is one of the wisest investments we can make because women take their successes and generate further growth and advancement for their families, communities, professions, and businesses. Investing in expanded economic opportunities for women carries a powerful multiplier effect that benefits all of society,” he said.

Angula said that Telecom Namibia strives to be more than just an ICT service provider by being a valuable partner that provides the best in class products and services to every individual, small business, large corporation, and anyone else who may benefit from its state-of-the-art offerings.

“We are delighted to sponsor the Namibian Businesswomen Projects for 2013 through to 2015. Networks such as these are key in unlocking women’s personal potential and developing enterprise and for this reason Telecom Namibia is pleased to support the attention and focus that is being paid to women in order to create and promote women leadership development, business skills training, mentoring programme and businesswomen’s networks to support female business leaders and entrepreneurs," he added.

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