Business women become Mobile Money agents
Date: Friday, May 11, 2018
With smiles beaming on her face, 45-year-old Catherine Sackie excitedly shared her story of how her life and her business have changed at a ceremony to mark the inauguration of Mobile Money Kiosks set up through partnership with UN Women Liberia, the telecommunications company Orange, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) and the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA).
Catherine was initially a beneficiary from the NEXT LEVEL Business training initiative, which is developed under the United Nations-Government of Liberia Joint Programme on Accelerating Progress towards the Economic Empowerment of Rural Women, funded by SIDA and NORAD.
Trained to use the various mobile baking applications and services and presented a Kiosk, Catherine became the first Orange Liberia female Mobile Money Agent operating in a Kiosk.
“I am grateful because the NEXT LEVEL has taken us from grassroots-level to a higher level and now only the sky can be our limit. Because of this programme, we have shown to our husbands that we are important in society,” explained Catherine.
Services to be offered by Catherine and other women mobile money agents at the kiosks will include, money transfer and the payment of taxes and bills.
Speaking at the event, Acting Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection Alice Johnson-Howard commended Orange and UN Women for prioritizing the empowerment of women via employment through the Orange Money kiosks, stressing that the initiative was a major support to Liberian government’s “pro-poor agenda.”
Presenting the kiosk, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Orange Liberia Mr. Mamadou Coulibaly said the partnership was part of his company’s long-standing commitment to empowering women and will help increase service availability in more locations across Liberia.”
UN Women Liberia Representative Madam Marie Goreth Nizigama highlighted that all the UN agencies, including UN Women, remain committed to responding to the needs of women entrepreneurs by strengthening its partnership with the private sector, to diversify livelihood options for market women.
“Today, we recognize the role of Orange Liberia and its contributions toward supporting gender equality and women’s empowerment in Liberia,” Madam Marie Goreth said.
On behalf of the LMA, Mr. Abraham Barchue, Vice President lauded UN Women, Orange Liberia and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection for their support to market women through financial opportunities and skills training that are helping to improve their lives.
In November 2017, UN Women and Orange Liberia entered into a partnership which among other things seeks to train women entrepreneurs in the operations of various mobile banking applications and provide economic opportunities for women to become Mobile Money Agents.