“I wish that one day Tanzania is seen in the area of global poultry exports,” says Elizabeth Swai in Forbes Africa Special Edition, June/July 2024.

Kilimokwanza.org Reporter

Elizabeth Christopher Swai, the CEO of AKM Glitters Company Limited, has been featured in the June/July 2024 edition of Forbes Africa. The article highlights her remarkable journey and significant contributions to Tanzania’s poultry sector, showcasing her unwavering commitment to social impact entrepreneurship.

Swai’s journey from the United Nations to founding AKM Glitters demonstrates her drive, compassion, and business acumen. The feature emphasizes how Swai “epitomizes drive, compassion, and business acumen,” and underscores her dedication to leveraging her extensive knowledge and experience to drive sustainable agricultural progress.

The inception of AKM Glitters was a pivotal moment for Swai, marking the culmination of her quest to develop sustainable solutions for societal challenges. “Drawing inspiration from her time at the United Nations, Swai witnessed the significance of sustainable initiatives and conceived a business model that harmoniously integrates profit and purpose.” This innovative approach led to the birth of AKM Glitters, a company committed to social impact and community empowerment.

At the core of AKM Glitters’ mission is its focus on the poultry sector, where Swai identified untapped potential. The article quotes Swai: “I should establish my own company that will do the good deed for chickens.” Her journey involved navigating the obstacles obstructing rural poultry farming in Tanzania, including a lack of quality breeding and inadequate management practices.

Swai’s efforts to address these challenges have positioned AKM Glitters as a leader in the industry. The article notes, “Swai’s vision includes creating a level playing field where Tanzanian poultry products compete globally and contribute significantly to the nation’s economy.” Her advocacy for structured poultry farming and her emphasis on sustainable practices have driven positive change.

Swai’s philosophy of collaboration over competition is a central theme in the article. She encourages foreign investors to view Tanzanian businesses as partners, stating, “They should come as partners rather than competitors. Together, we have the potential to change this sector. Let’s work together.” This collaborative approach is essential for fostering sustainable growth and innovation within the industry.

Tanzania’s Poultry Sector: Taking Flight with Elizabeth Swai’s Vision

Swai’s powerful statement in Forbes Africa captures the essence of Tanzania’s poultry sector: “I wish that one day Tanzania is seen in the area of global poultry exports.” This vision underscores the sector’s potential to achieve self-sufficiency and become a global competitor, significantly impacting the nation’s economy.

Growth with Room for Improvement

Tanzania’s poultry sector is already experiencing positive growth. In 2022, exports reached $192,000, primarily to Kenya. However, a high dependency on imports ($9.17 million in 2022) remains a challenge. Major suppliers like the Netherlands and France highlight the need for domestic improvement.

Taking Off: Strategies for Success

To achieve Swai’s vision, strategic initiatives are crucial:

  • Investing in Local Breeds and Practices: Focusing on high-quality breeding programs and modern farming techniques can increase productivity and quality, making Tanzanian poultry more competitive internationally.
  • Enhanced Processing Facilities: Upgrading slaughterhouses and cold storage will ensure export-quality products by maintaining freshness.
  • Strategic Partnerships: Collaboration, as Swai suggests, is key. Partnering with international investors can bring in much-needed capital, technology, and expertise to propel sustainable growth.

The SAGCOT Partnership: A Force for Change

The Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) poultry partnership, spearheaded by individuals like Elizabeth Swai, is already a driving force. This innovative initiative fosters inclusive agribusiness by integrating smallholder farmers into commercial ventures. By promoting best practices and facilitating access to financing and technology, SAGCOT empowers farmers and lays the groundwork for sustainable growth.

A Bright Future Takes Flight

With a strong foundation (79.1 million chickens in 2019 and established production in 2018), Tanzania’s poultry sector offers exciting investment opportunities across the value chain. By implementing these strategies, Tanzania can take flight and become a major player in the global poultry market, fulfilling Swai’s visionary dream.


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