Leading mobile operator in Zanzibar Zantel has announced plans to grow the number of active women base in its mobile money network from the current 27 per cent to 40 per cent as it seeks to empower women through mobile financing.
This, the telco argue would create more social and economic opportunities for women which would transform their lives and the economy in general.
“We at Zantel understand that by closing the mobile gender gap will create economic opportunities for women and we are able to generate growth and advancement for the communities that surround us”, Zantel’s Chief Executive Officer, Benoit Janin during the Mobile 360 – Africa Conference, in Dar es Salaam.
“Zantel already has projects that are underway with various women groups such as Nia ni Umoja in Pemba and Association of Seaweed Farmers in Unguja.
Our intention is to train over 2,000 women on the use of Ezypesa,” said Mr Janin. Mr Janin also said in its bid to unlock potential women and other underserved groups, Zantel has doubled its reach. In the mainland it covers 80 per cent of the population, while in Zanzibar, Zantel has the widest network.
‘In Zanzibar for instance, where Zantel has almost 70 per cent market share, we will be partnering with Zanzibar Social Security Fund (ZSSF) to ensure that its members, of which 60 per cent are women, contribute their donations through Ezypesa’.
Benoit also urged stakeholders and operators to work together in ensuring end users benefit from Mobile Financial Services. He also pointed out the critical role mobile communications play in the social and national development. “Operators and stakeholders should work together to ensure barriers such as access to Internet, connectivity, digital literacy are resolved”, said Mr Janin.