Anicha: We are a non-profit organization of diverse women entrepreneurs in Mozambique from both local and international markets. Our mission has been to leverage on the opportunities that exist in Mozambique, to grow women in businesses and create partnership with industries and extractive sectors by expanding networking and identify demand-driven capacity development to allow the access to new clients and markets. In a nutshell, we want to be included in major developments and contribute to the economic growth of Mozambique. The journey has not been easy, but since 2018, we have managed to create stronger relationships amongst women members, we have an online platform that is active on both Facebook and LinkedIn where a lot of discussions take place. A couple of the achievements I am particularly proud of are that in 2019 we had the very first Women in Oil & Gas Workshop in Mozambique that was sponsored by the Canadian Embassy, it was such a success. This event was right after the 6th Mozambique Oil & Gas Summit. It really gave businesses a good understanding about the industry, compliances, opportunities and understanding of the value chain. The other stand-out for me was earlier this year we partnered and participated in an event co-hosted by Chambers of Commerce France in Mozambique, talking about the local content and opportunities for women businesses. We had an opportunity to introduce the network and also hear from both INP and Total about opportunities and how we could all access it.
NF: You are also the Co-Founder and Managing Director of EP Management in Mozambique - if you could give one piece of advice to (young) women who are looking at launching their own business, what would it be?
AA: Always embrace challenges, view them as opportunities to learn. Plug into a support system, there is so much headaches you can save if you are willing to learn. Get a mentor and believe in yourself.
NF: You, in collaboration with Eliana Nzualo and Mody Maleiane, have just won the International Books for Peace Prize, from the Fundação Universitária Vida Cristã (FUNVIC) in Partnership with UNESCO, awarded to personalities who contribute to promoting peace, culture and harmony between peoples. Can you tell us more about this?
AA: To be honest, I am still surprised that I was part of the 3 winners of the prestigious international award. I am so humbled to be recognised as someone that is positively contributing to our society through my work. I have written a lot of articles, I enjoy sharing positivity and my entrepreneurial journey on social media, in the hope that I maybe helping someone out there. At the moment I am co-authoring a leadership book with some amazing international authors and hopefully the book will be out this year, and for more on that I have to keep you in suspense. There is so much more in the pipeline and I am excited to be sharing all this soon.
NF: IMPACT is very active in developing local capacity - could you tell us more about this initiative and other initiatives currently conducted by the organisation?
AA: Our goal as Impact is to ease the journey and create a more gender inclusive participation of women in business through online connections, offline collaborations, networking events, mentorships and capacity building. We have had several workshops conducted throughout the years on business-related topics and leadership. One of the workshop was the Women in Oil & Gas Workshop held last year. During the state of emergency we started streaming online talks called “Not Business As Usual Series” which was an initiative to help businesses navigate through this crisis by providing practical ways of ensuring the businesses survives. We have a mentorship program that we are finalizing with an international organization and we hope that will in turn bring so much value for the businesses that are selected to participate.
NF: You are speaking at the Mozambique Gas Virtual Summit in October, what are you the most looking forward to at the event?
AA: Due to the fall in energy markets globally, all major oil companies had to cut CAPEX for 202O. In Mozambique we have a double edge sword scenario with the pandemic and the localised violence around the project surrounding areas. Not to mention ExxonMobil postponing FID.
From all of this, I am looking forward to understanding what 2021 will look like, what the progress is on Local Content law, job creations and opportunities for local SMEs.