Unlocking Regional Opportunities: Empowering SMEs Through EAC-GIZ Partnership (GIZ)

"We are grateful to EAC and GIZ for their support, which has enabled our company to build additional networks and create more linkages in the EAC and beyond. With knowledge sharing and networking at various exhibitions, I plan to diversify our product portfolio beyond cashew nuts and supply markets across EAC and Africa and eventually go global." Fatna Tambwe General Manager, Munawar Foods, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

A manufacturing entrepreneur based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Fatna Tambwe is the General Manager of Munawar Foods, a family-owned business. Founded in 2007 as a passionate hobby, its main product line is cashew nuts, which are now mainly sold on the Tanzanian market.

Fatna, who is a banker by profession, made the bold decision in 2020 to quit her job and turn this hobby into a fully-fledged business. She rebranded her products and services, enhanced their quality, and re-established her business connections and supply markets in Dar es Salaam and other parts of Tanzania.

Recently, Fatna successfully entered the Ethiopian market. She attributes this transformation of her passion to the support she has also received from the EAC-Germany partnership. As part of this partnership, GIZ has enabled Fatna to participate in business exhibitions such as the Jua Kali Exhibition in Kampala, Uganda, in 2022, and the Intra-Africa Trade Fair in Cairo, Egypt, in November 2023.

She acknowledges the improvements in her business in terms of market presence and creative innovations. “The support from EAC-GIZ has been nothing short of an eye-opening experience for Munawar Foods Company. We learned how to add value and how to diversify our products to keep our clients captivated by our products. We are currently working on new products and are excited to introduce them to the market soon.”

Fatna’s ambition is to expand regionally. She is eager to take advantage of the benefits EAC integration holds for intra-regional and even continental trade.

The partnership between the EAC and Germany aims to integrate SMEs into regional and continental markets under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to enhance their business prospects and effectively contribute to economic development in the EAC.