Friday, February 14th 2020
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen
It is my pleasure to welcome you all to the fourth Citi Tanzania Micro-entrepreneurship (CMA) Awards launch. We are honored by your presence here today.
Citibank is a leading global bank and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. In Sub-Saharan Africa and Tanzania in particular, Citibank focuses on Corporate and Investment banking to large Corporations, Government Entities and Financial Institutions. Our main emphasis is providing efficient Treasury management and financing large capital investments. Citi opened its door in Tanzania back in 1995, hence this year we are celebrating our 25 years of presence in Tanzania.
The CMA has been a signature component of the Citi Foundation’s work on financial inclusion for over a decade. The program, which was implemented in nearly 30 countries last year, was a resounding success. The goal of the program is to raise awareness of how the Citi Foundation supports microentrepreneurship as an enabler of economic growth and job creation in communities around the world, and showcase how microentrepreneurs are contributing to global progress and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is why the organizing team thought it fit to theme this year’s program: “Financial Inclusion: Effective instrument to SDGs advancement.”
Through the Citi Foundation, Citi will contribute a total amount of 170 million Tanzania Shillings, where over 70 million will be awarded to 16 winners and will go a long way to highlight and encourage the contributions of micro-entrepreneurs and microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Tanzania.
The Citi Foundation’s extensive work on financial inclusion contributes to progress on Sustainable Development Goal’s (SDG). Aligned with SDG 8, the Youth Microentrepreneur of the Year Award highlights best-in-class youth entrepreneurs and their entrepreneurial ideas. The youth award complements the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative aimed at creating economic opportunities and social mobility for low-income youth.
The program is further aligned to SDG 5, this award category will shine a light on successful women business leaders, e.g. Best Women Micro-entrepreneur of the Year. In addition, the program is aligned to SDG 13, Green and Sustainable Business Models, which highlight the most promising local solutions to climate action, e.g. Best Microentrepreneur of the Year in Agriculture.
The Awards also promote financial inclusion and generate recognition for the extraordinary contributions that individual micro entrepreneurs make for the economic sustainability of their families, their communities and the wider economy.
This is specifically enabling progress on target SDG 9, which seeks to increase the access of small-scale enterprises -particularly in developing countries- to financial services to facilitate integration into value chains and markets. Aligned with SDG 9, the Most Innovative MFI Award is one of the CMA’s longest standing awards categories that gives recognition to a microfinance institution that is promoting local economic development and a thriving microenterprise sector in its country through its work and support of microentrepreneurs.
The core objective of the CMA program is to shine the spotlight on how Citi supports economic growth in communities around the world by supporting small businesses and the entrepreneurial ideas of low-income people, including youth, and to showcase how we are making a positive impact in the lives of the beneficiaries, their families, and communities.
The Micro-entrepreneurship industry is being recognized as a major contributor of economic growth in the country through job creation, service and industry in various economic sectors. Through the Microentrepreneurs, we are reassured that micro entrepreneurship is a viable option for every entrepreneurial Tanzanian. Citibank Tanzania is therefore proud to contribute to the development of micro-entrepreneurship and ultimately better livelihoods for the communities where we live and work.
The government is championing industrialization through the Tanzania National AGOA Strategy under the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment. Micro-entrepreneurs and microfinance institutions are capable of playing a big role, initially in establishment of cottage industries, which later can grow into mainstream factories. This is a major source of employment for rural youth of both genders and, as a way of supplementing household income. Citibank Tanzania will continue to support Government industrialization agenda through various initiatives including CMA initiative.
Ladies and Gentlemen, finally, I am proud and honored to announce the launch of the forth Citi Microentrepreneurship Award in Tanzania; together we can make a difference by working together to achieve common prosperity, social progress and stability in our country and region.