Here at Swahili Coast, we recognize that solving global challenges requires not only good intentions but a model for development that is evidence-based - that also delivers real results for change. Within the narrative of development discourse (the discussion that surrounds the concept of development as a practice, industry and ethos), there is a significant push for women's roles in international development. As a brand, Swahili Coast can vouch for the validity and importance of this trend.
Historically, the concept of development has often been primarily facilitated and dominated by men. Looking to colonial history, colonial officers and administrators were mostly men of European lineage who brokered deals for governance and trade with colonized peoples through traditional power structures, often men. Modern development through aid agencies has recognized that working with women carries an increased marginal value as compared to working directly with men. Research on the efficacy of working with women as agents of development is found at all levels of development discourse, and the impact is well articulated in this IMF overview of women's roles in development , citing an important World Bank study evaluating women's roles in development.
The IMF lays out a series of policy prescriptions for economies - many of which introduce public sector solutions. But effective change comes not just with public sector influence, but with changes that reflect positive directional opportunities within the private sector. Our work in Tanzania with women provides a stable income for women as breadwinners - normalizing women as successful wage earners, managers and owners within a growing company that does business in global markets.
We hope that other groups can learn from our successes - and we encourage our fans and customers to learn the story that makes Swahili Coast unique.
The Swahili Coast Team