NUS, ITC and UNDP help benefit more businesswomen

Nov 23, 2015

Discussion between Mr Farhadi of ITC, Lizbeth Cullity and Shaun Kennedy of UNDP and NUS dean of the Faculty of Business and Entrepreneurship, Tofua'iofoia Fuimaono Falefa Lima and Mrs Sasae Walter. Photo credit: NUS/2015.

The Dean of the Faculty of Business and Entrepreneurship (F.O.B.E) Tofua’iofoia Fuimaono Falefa Lima and Mrs Sasa’e Walter met with Ms Lizbeth Cullity, United Nations Development Programme (U.N.D.P) Resident Coordinator/Representative in Samoa, Niue, Cook Islands and Tokelau and Mr Torek Farhadi, I.T.C Senior Adviser for Women and Trade to evaluate their joint work and seek ways to do more.

Under an agreement signed earlier this year, NUS offered a course to 30 professional businesswomen and 30 government procurement officers on increasing government procurement from women owned businesses in Samoa.

During the joint evaluation and feedback session, Ms Aruna Tuala, a F.O.B.E Lecturer indicated that Lecturers needed to make some changes to the course offered by I.T.C to adapt it more to the situation of the attending students, make it less academic and more business oriented.

Mr Farhadi said: "I.T.C is committed to empower women in business gain a larger share from government procurement.”

He went on to say that he is very happy to meet with the lecturers and the students to engage in a feedback session to see what worked and what needs improvement.

He is also appreciative of the close partnership between the National University of Samoa (N.U.S) and I.T.C-Geneva in delivering courses which support women in trade.

 Members of the faculty with Mr Farhadi and Lizbeth Cullity. Photo credit: NUS/2015.

Students who are procurement officers at the Ministry of Finance (M.O.F) clarified that government procurement was done through closed bids rather than gender of the business owner.

The course had helped them a great deal in appreciating the need to increase women owned business's share in benefiting more from government spending.

Ms Cullity said she was delighted to be in the room and hear voices of so many women discussing growth of business opportunities for women.

She added that the UNDP will seek more ways to have such programmes under the new One UN Youth Employment Project (One-UN YEP) delivered together with the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development.

Mr Farhadi indicated during his visit to Samoa, that he had the privilege to visit high ranking officials with the ministries involved such as the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development (M.W.C.S.D), Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (M.F.A.T) and Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour (M.C.I.L) as well as with the Samoa Association of Manufacturers and Exporters (S.A.M.E). 

He said it is clear to I.T.C and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (M.F.A.T) which finances this programme that investing in empowering women in trade strengthens the social fabric as women tend to reinvest their profits in their family and community welfare.

Mr Farhadi also indicated that N.U.S and the I.T.C will continue to seek support for such initiatives into 2016, especially ways to reach out to women in business in the rural areas.

Ends.

Article by the National University of Samoa.

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