Date: November 21, 2019
Venue: Kabul Serena Hotel
Bibi Khadija Award Ceremony was launched on November 19, 2015 for the first time on the occasion of International Women Entrepreneur’s Day. This year the awards is considered for provincial businesswomen of Afghanistan excluding Kabul. The application form for competitive award was open for two months in 33 provinces of the country and at the end, more than 50 applications from 16 provinces were received. The Selection Committee, composed of the representatives from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, AWCCI and Afghanistan International Bank, reviewed the applications and as a result, 15 top struggling businesswomen from 13 provinces with the strongest applications based on the criteria were selected as 2019 awardees.
Fifth Bibi Khadija Annual Award Ceremony held on November 21, 2019 at Kabul Serena. In this program, Ms. Palwasha Amin, Advisor to the Ms. Rula Ghani H.E. First Lady; H.E. Mr. Mustafa Mastoor, Minister of Economy; Ms. Shinkai Karokhil, Member of Parliament; Ms. Sahar Hamdard, Head of Engineering and Architectural System Development Authority at Ministry of Urban Development and Land; Ms. Kamela Sediqi, Former Trade Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce; Ms. Shahrzad Hirji, Agha Khan Ambassador; Mr. Maiel KhairKhah, Chair of ACCI; Ms. Afsana Rahimi, Chair of AWCCI; Asia Foundation officials; Ambassadors and representatives of Egypt, Swedish, Kazakhstan, Australia, India, Indonesia, and Turkey Embassies, European Union; Afghanistan International Bank and Ghazanfar Bank, and First Micro Finance Bank Officials, NHLP, MAIL officials, other national and international dignitaries and more than 200 businesswomen from Kabul and other provinces participated.
At first, the event started with recitation of Holy Quran by Ms. Rahela Sajadi. Subsequently, the National Anthem played by Afghanistan National Institute of Music. Afterwards, Ms. Afsana Rahimi officially begun the program with the welcome notes to all dignitaries and guests.
At the first part, Ms. Palwasha Amin on behalf of H.E. First Lady Office congratulated Ms. Manizha Wafeq and AWCCI’s board of directors for holding fifth Bibi Khadija Award Ceremony. She stated that H.E. First Lady once again appreciated AWCCI for holding this program and she expressed her best wishes for AWCCI and awardees of Bibi Khadija. She also added that AWCCI as one of the entities that is directly approved by Presidency Office has always done positive and effective activities.
Award main categories were 1. Honorary 2. Competitive. Honorary Awards were given to those (men and women) who served for women’s economic empowerment and women entrepreneurs’ development in the country or those women who were not in business but are highly accomplished and can be a role model for other Afghan women. Fifteen Competitive awardees receives awards in 5 categories which are: 1. Started an innovative venture, 2. Have entered the male dominant sectors, 3. Have run her business successfully for more than 5 years, 4. Have created more jobs, and 5. have started a service business for other women and women business owners.
In the fifth Bibi Khadija Award Ceremony 15 businesswomen from provinces except Kabul were selected by monitoring committee based on the specific criteria. Competitive Awardees were Ms. Diana Hashimzada, President of Drukhshan Balkh Company; Ms. Farida Mahyar, President of Frough Rashidyar Dairy Process and Products in Herat; Ms. Guljan Hujjati, President Sita Star Logistic Company in Daikundi; Ms. Kamila Sahar, President of Raihan Radio and Television in Takhar; Ms. Laila Afaq, President of Afghan Business Center in Kandahar; Ms. Nasrin Keshawarz, President of Negin Production in Herat; Ms. Nasrin Khojandi, Founder of Family Health Hospital in Balkh; Ms. Nazifa Hofiani, President of Women Vocational Training Agriculture Service Organization in Parwan; Ms. Noria Hamasa, President of Hamasa Radio in Jawzjan; Ms. Qamar Gul Sharifi, President of Women Handicrafts and social Association Aibak Center in Samangan; Ms. Rahela Sajadi, President of Masir Elaf in Ghazni; Ms. Sediqa Shirzai, President of Roshani Radio Television and Sada Radio in Kunduz; Ms. Shahla Shaieq, President of Nargis Radio in Nangarhar; Ms. Yasamin Mohmand, President of BDOA in Badghis; and Ms. Zahra Nazari, President of Bameyan Boda Handicrafts.
Besides competitive awardees, 12 men and women who played key roles in businesswomen economic empowerment and development received honorary awards by AWCCI board of Directors. The Honorary Awardees of fifth Bibi Khadija Award ceremony were Mr. Ajmal Ahmadi, Minister of Finance; Mr. Mustafa Mastoor, Minister of Economy; Mr. Jawad Paikar, Minister of Urban Development and Land; Dr. Sima Samar, Senior Advisor to President in Human Rights Affairs; Ms. Shinkai Karokhel, Member of Parliament; Mr. Anthony Barned, CEO of AIB; Ms. Nancy Maghribi, Chairperson of Global Trade Matters Group; Mr. Abeer Hamza, Marketing Manager of AIB; Ms. Laila Haidari, Founder of Taj Begum Resturant; Ms. Mahtab Malikzai, Founder of Women Embroidrer of Nangarhar and Mr. Sohrab Ahmad, Special Assistant to President.
Additionally, Ms. Kamela Sediqi briefed the summary of Second National Women Entrepreneurship Summit for participants of Bibi Khadija Award Ceremony.
While handing the award a fashion show by Jama Saqeb Handicrafts Company was organized as a surprise for entertaining attendees of the program. Jama Saqeb Handicrafts Company was established on 2017 and it is one of the most famous women clothing brands now and provides services for celebrities.
Furthermore, Bibi Khadija revolving fund by AIB and UNDP was launched in this program. Two mentioned entities funds businesswomen with particular purposes. AIB give loan to businesswomen for their marketing from $500 to $3000 and UNDP give loan to businesswomen to creatively develop projects for protection and conservation of the environment.
Ministry of Women Affairs of the country as one of the partners in this program, appreciated AWCCI, Mr. Anthony Barned, CEO of AIB, Mr. Abeer Hamza, Marketing Manager of AIB, and 15 competitive Bibi Khadija awardees. They ended the program with closing remarks.
Besides the Bibi Khadija Award Ceremony, an exhibition of businesswomen products, in cooperation with Agha Khan Network and WEE-RDP, partner entities and sponsors was organized by AWCCI which attendees visited that at the end of the program.
AWCCI is thankful to WEE-RDP and Agha Khan Network for bringing women from provinces to the event. Besides, AWCCI is thankful to Afghanistan International Bank, Trailblazer Sponsor of AWCCI and the event, Roshan Telecom, Women Economic Empowerment sponsor and the event silver sponsors (NETLINKS Ltd., Ghazanfar Bank, and RICGISO International) and technical support of Kaweyan Group of Companies.
Bibi Khadija Award Ceremony ended by taking a group photo and having evening meal.