Norah Simkoko, one of the motor mechanics female students who participated in the special technical training provided by the CFAO Motors Tanzania, receives the certificate of participation from the company’s CEO, François Bompart. All beneficiaries of the training received their certificates during the International Women's Day celebratory event held on March 7, 2023, at the company's offices in Dar es Salaam.
Auto technician students from VETA who participated in specialized technical training provided by the CFAO Motors Tanzania company pose with their certificates of participation in a group photo with female employees of the company.

Like other parts of the world, Tanzania's automotive industry has grown steadily over time and become an integral part of the country's economy. The Tanzania Automotive Market, Size, Share, Outlook, and Growth Opportunities 2022-2030 Report states that Tanzania's automotive market is witnessing a strong rebound in demand from the COVID downturn and post-COVID supply chain bottlenecks. The market is expected to grow at a significant compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2023 and 2030.

The automotive sector heavily relies on the importation of cars and car parts from major global manufacturers. Its significance cannot be overstated, as it serves as the backbone of several other sectors, including transport, logistics, and mobility. Without efficient transport and mobility, key sectors such as agriculture, tourism, mining, and trade would remain stagnant. In addition, service sectors such as healthcare, education, and financial services require effective transport and mobility to function optimally. Transportation and mobility services, which largely rely on automobiles, also play a significant role in daily human movement and navigation.

It is undeniable that for a long time, male dominance has been deeply ingrained in the automotive industry since society perceives the industry as masculine and women are seen as unfit for it. Even though there isn't any quantitative information that can be used to show how men and women are involved in the automotive industry in Tanzania, it is clear that men are the majority in the automotive value chain.  

Despite the fact that the automotive industry is traditionally a male-dominated industry, there is a significant stake that women have in the automobile sector of Tanzania. There are various ways through which Tanzanian women are involved in the industry and some of the largest car dealers in the country are taking deliberate efforts to promote gender diversity in the industry.

In recent years faces of women who participate in the sector can be seen taking important roles including but not limited to sales and marketing, drivers, and mechanics. Apart from self-initiatives by a few women, dealers such as CFAO Motors have given women a chance to contribute to the sector. Women are now holding important positions such as sales and marketing directors at one of the largest multinational automotive dealers such as CFAO. This indicates that women are now not only participating in the automobile industry but also occupying positions in which they can have an impact on the industry's development.


One of the few women in a male-dominated industry who holds a highly strategic position is Ms. Tharaia Ally Ahmed, Director of Sales and Marketing at CFAO Motors Tanzania. When she was asked to share a sneak peek of her story, she admitted that even the few women who have the technical capability and are passionate about the automotive industry are reluctant to take chances due to dominant gender perspectives. Despite her confidence, she admitted that choosing the path was not easy for her.

“You are already aware of how challenging it is to persuade both men and women that a woman can have a greater understanding of the automotive industry than the majority of men. So, it wasn't easy; it took courage, and I'm grateful to CFAO Motors for believing in my abilities regardless of gender. After working here for some time, I've noticed that the company is moving in the right direction when it comes to giving women opportunities. We have saleswomen and other women in senior positions like marketing managers and others. In the past few years, this was unthinkable.”  Ms. Tharaia said, with a dominant smile.

She went on to say that CFAO Motors' deliberate efforts are important in closing the gender gap in the industry.

CFAO Motors is not only implementing gender mainstreaming within the company, but it is also taking other significant measures to empower women in the automotive industry as a whole. The company has launched an initiative dubbed “CFAO Motors Empower Her Future Initiative” through which they have trained women auto technicians from Tanzania's Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA) to acquire the skills they need to compete in the automotive industry as part of the Women's Day celebration. Customer service, vehicle inspection, and vehicle maintenance are among the topics to be covered in the program. CFAO Motors is doing this to support the development of the skills women need to succeed in the automotive industry.

Norah Simkoko, one of the training participants, thanked CFAO Motors for offering them the training, which she recognized will enable them to become familiar with modern automotive technologies and equip them to successfully compete for jobs in the industry.

"I've learned a great deal about the auto electrical system. I am really grateful to CFAO Motors for offering me this opportunity since it will help me become a better auto technician." She said Simkoko.

Overall, women in Tanzania have a significant stake in the automobile industry. Women's participation is not only contributing to the sector's growth but also promoting gender diversity in a traditionally male-dominated industry. CFAO Motors' support for women's participation in the automobile industry sets an excellent example for large automotive manufacturers operating in the Tanzanian market. Such kind of initiatives will not only help to increase gender diversity but will also contribute to the expansion of Tanzania's automobile industry.

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