TAMFI & Women in Finance: Embracing Climate Change – A Confluence of Gender Empowerment, Environmental Advocacy, and Finance

On March 26, 2024, the Tanzania Association of Microfinance Institutions (TAMFI) held a groundbreaking conference titled “Women in Finance: Embracing Climate Change” in Dar es Salaam. This event marked a significant step towards integrating gender empowerment, environmental advocacy, and finance, aligning with the visionary efforts of Tanzania under Her Excellency Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan’s leadership.

Ms. Winnie Terry, TAMFI’s CEO, underscored the conference’s goal: to intertwine gender and environmental sustainability within the financial sector. “Our commitment goes beyond discussion; it’s a call to action towards environmental conservation and combating deforestation through clean cooking initiatives,” Terry stated, emphasizing the strategic alignment with Tanzania’s vision for sustainability.

The conference, supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, illuminated the critical role of financial institutions in promoting sustainable practices, with a particular focus on empowering women within the finance sector. The discussions aimed at inspiring eco-friendly measures in financial operations and fostering a community of women advocates for environmental stewardship.

Ms. Devotha Ntuke Minzi, Board Chairperson of TAMFI, during her keynote, highlighted the essential role of women in addressing climate change and advancing gender equality. “As we celebrate International Women’s Month, we acknowledge the profound impact women in finance can have in promoting environmental sustainability,” Minzi remarked, calling for an inclusive approach to decision-making and action initiatives.

The conference featured two diverse panels: one comprising leaders from various organizations and another including insights from beneficiaries and borrowers. This structure facilitated a comprehensive dialogue on the intersections of water, renewable energy, and climate change, emphasizing the importance of women’s contributions to environmental sustainability.

Notably, Mr. Deodati Bernard, Program Officer at TAMFI, pointed out the significant contributions of women to Tanzania’s development and global leadership in finance and entrepreneurship. “Tanzania is home to over 31 million women who have demonstrated profound impact and reliability in spearheading initiatives and driving progress,” Bernard noted.

The event brought together women representatives and CEOs from Tier One and Tier 2 financial institutions, alongside delegates from several associations and foundations. This diverse attendance underscored the collective endeavor to combat climate change and foster sustainability across the finance sector.

Moreover, the conference spotlighted the urgent need to address the disproportionate effects of climate change on women, both in Tanzania and globally. Mrs. Albina Minja from the Sustainable Energy Services Company (SESSCOM) Limited shared insights on the devastating impact of charcoal and wood use on the environment and public health. SESSCOM’s initiative to promote renewable energy and clean cooking methods has reached over ten thousand households, showcasing a tangible step towards sustainability.

Similarly, representatives from CARITAS and SEMAKAYA SACCOS shared their efforts in economic empowerment, sustainable farming practices, and environmental conservation through education on tree planting and the use of energy-efficient stoves.

The “Women in Finance: Embracing Climate Change” conference served as a catalyst for action, highlighting the intersectionality of gender, environmental sustainability, and finance. By fostering dialogue, education, and collaboration, TAMFI and its partners are paving the way for a sustainable future, empowering women in finance to lead the charge towards environmental stewardship and gender equality.

Ms. Devotha Ntuke Minzi, Board Chairperson of TAMFI and keynote speaker, underscores the essential contributions of women in combatting climate change and fostering gender equality at the Women in Finance_ Embracing Climate Change_ conference