Cummins Zambia has partnered with CAMFED (Campaign for Female Education) as part of the global Cummins Powers Women initiative. It is sponsoring a project to empower 500 bright young women over the next three years to start up their own businesses, explains Cummins Zambia General Manager Meshach Kwegyir-Aggrey.
“Our aim is to train these women and to provide them with the necessary resources to become financially independent,” comments Kwegyir-Aggrey. However, the project was nearly derailed by the Covid-19 crisis, which saw it come to an abrupt halt at the beginning of the year.
Not content to abandon the project, Kwegyir-Aggrey reveals that Cummins Zambia decided to use the latest technology to not only continue the training, but also to comply with social distancing and other requirements to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Most of the women have smartphones, so we came up with the idea to give them all an initial presentation on how best to use the Zoom video and web conferencing platform,” elaborates Kwegyir-Aggrey. This then paved the way for Cummins Zambia to continue with the planned training, which encompassed topics such as business management and dealing with financial risk in the light of Covid-19.
“We received hugely enthusiastic feedback. The engagement was very good, with all of the women asking extremely pertinent questions,” adds Kwegyir-Aggrey. “The general consensus was that the women had received the type of practical information and guidance they would not otherwise have been exposed to.”
Such has been the response that Cummins Zambia has been requested to provide follow-up training. The Minister of Health was approached by CAMFED Zambia Country Director Dr. Dorothy Kasanda, and subsequently granted permission to conduct face-to-face interaction with the women.
“Another key element of this highly successful outcome was the engagement of my management team, which facilitated the training in conjunction with our own employees,” points out Kwegyir-Aggrey. Cummins Zambia delivered the training and subsequent support, while the initial interviewing and candidate selection was carried out by CAMFED.
Engineering solutions that build prosperous communities have been part of Cummins since its establishment. This legacy continues with Cummins Powers Women, its most ambitious community initiative ever. It unites leaders and employees around the world in finding solutions to gender inequality in communities. The initiative represents a multi-million dollar investment in proven programmes designed to create large-scale change in the lives of women and girls globally.