Elizabeth Swai- Empowering Women in Agribusiness through AKM Glitters’ Kubroiler Franchise Program

Elizabeth Swai, the golden woman behind AKM Glitters Ltd, exemplifies resilience, determination, and the spirit of empowering women in agribusiness. Through the Kubroiler Franchise Program and her involvement with AWAB, Elizabeth Swai is paving the way for women entrepreneurs in Tanzania’s agricultural sector. Her vision, dedication, and commitment to compliance and quality standards have positioned AKM Glitters as a leading force in the poultry industry while fostering sustainable economic growth and empowerment for women across the country.

She is a remarkable African leader dedicated to promoting sustainable agriculture practices, empowering farmers, and advancing rural development in Tanzania and beyond. Swai’s passion for agriculture dates back to her childhood, where she was raised in a farming family in Tanzania.

After completing her education, Swai began her career as a senior secretary at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She later moved to the United Nations World Food Program, where she served as a senior staff assistant to the Representative and Country Director. During her time at the World Food Program, Swai gathered data to create Excel spreadsheets for budget and inventory management, planned travel arrangements for staff and executives, and implemented collection procedures for payment, successfully increasing on-time payments. She also supervised all secretaries and registry from seven sub-offices in Tanzania, organized big missions, and provided administrative support to government and donor protocols and meetings.

In 2006, Swai left the United Nations to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams. She founded AKM Glitters Company Limited, which focuses on integrated poultry business and rural development. Under Swai’s leadership, the company has grown significantly, partnering with world Poultry Program to implement and manage a USD 4.3 million project to introduce a new breed into Tanzania (Kuroiler Breed) and the Mother Unit Model across Tanzania. The project was funded by the Melinda and Gates Foundation, and the Fund Manager was World Poultry Foundation. The company has also partnered with EFTHA to fund smallholder farmers with a project worth USD 500,000 through farm input supply to poultry keepers. Furthermore, the company has partnered with SEAF with a project worth USD 1 million for feed mill construction and later contracts farmers to produce maize and soya.

Swai’s impact in the agriculture industry extends beyond AKM Glitters. She is the founder and CEO of Voice of Agriculture Online TV, Media, which communicates information on Nutrition, Climate Change, Agri-Investment, and policy. Under Swai’s leadership, the company has grown its regular audience base by consistently producing high-quality content and pioneering social media engagement strategies. Swai has collaborated with editors and publishers to establish and maintain an appropriate tone of voice across all published content.

In addition to her professional work, Swai has been a mentor to many young entrepreneurs in Tanzania, helping them establish and grow their businesses profitably. She has also trained and mentored hundreds of poultry keepers and youths in doing business profitably, career management, communication skills, HIV & AIDS, records management, and poultry keeping.

Many high-profile organizations have recognized Swai’s impact. She has received a silver pin for Ten Years Long Serving UN Staff and has been a speaker and panelist at many high-profile events, such as Graca Machel Trust event in South Africa, Tanzania Poultry Breeders Event, and the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in 2019, 2021, and 2022. She is also a board member at GIBRI (Young Investor and my Mentee), the Tanzania Meat Board, and has affiliations with various organizations such as the Center for Africa Leaders in Agriculture, AGRA – Sustainably Growing Africa’s Food System, and the International Livestock Research Institute, among others.

Swai’s commitment to sustainable agriculture practices, entrepreneurship, and rural development has made her a true African golden woman. She has empowered farmers, mentored young entrepreneurs, and advanced sustainable agriculture practices, contributing to the overall development of African agriculture. Swai’s leadership, dedication, and accomplishments have truly made a difference in the lives of many, and she continues to inspire others to pursue their passions and make a positive impact in their lives.

Empowering Women in Agribusiness: Driven by her passion for chicken farming and the knowledge gained from her extensive experience, Elizabeth Swai established AKM Glitters Ltd in 2006. Today, AKM Glitters is the leading certified Kuroiler chicken farm in Tanzania, specializing in the production of high-quality meat and eggs. Building on their success, AKM Glitters launched the Kubroiler Franchise Program, a groundbreaking initiative aimed at empowering women in agribusiness across 20 regions of Tanzania.

The Kubroiler Franchise Program: The Kubroiler Franchise Program provides women with a unique opportunity to participate in the poultry industry and create sustainable businesses. Through a dedicated Microfinance credit facility, AKM Glitters supplies women farmers with poultry resources instead of cash, fostering responsible entrepreneurship and eliminating financial barriers. Participating farmers contribute a security deposit and receive month-old chicks, benefiting from free veterinary services and extensive training provided by AKM Glitters’ team of veterinary doctors and agriculture extension officers.

Benefits and Impact: The Kuroiler breed, known for its disease resistance and high egg yield, offers a lucrative opportunity for small-scale farmers. By joining the Kubroiler Franchise Program, women entrepreneurs gain access to a comprehensive support system that enables them to succeed in the poultry industry. Through the program, AKM Glitters aims to establish 480 Kuroiler farms across Tanzania within four years, promoting economic empowerment and sustainable agriculture practices.

Empowering Women beyond Business: Elizabeth Swai’s commitment to empowering women extends beyond AKM Glitters’ Kubroiler Franchise Program. She is the founder member of AWAB (African Women in Agribusiness Network) in Tanzania, a platform dedicated to addressing the challenges faced by women in agribusiness. AWAB fosters unity, mentorship, and collaboration among women entrepreneurs, enabling them to overcome financial inclusion, compliance, and marketing obstacles.

Compliance and Quality Standards: Elizabeth Swai emphasizes the importance of compliance and quality standards in agribusiness. AKM Glitters has invested in necessary infrastructure and processes to meet international compliance standards, ensuring the delivery of safe and high-quality products. By adhering to strict protocols and conducting regular quality checks, AKM Glitters has achieved ISO certification and is committed to continuous improvement.