Closing the economic advancement gap among Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) in Tanzania is our major concern as a part of society. The gap points out existing inequities that leave adolescent girls and young women at risk for HIV and other SRH issues (affecting their access to HIV prevention, care, and treatment services) and increasing their vulnerability. This includes low knowledge of comprehensive sexuality education, limited access to HIV and SRH sessions, financial dependency, and Gender-Based Violence.

The Statistics show that 1.4 million people in Tanzania are living with HIV/AIDs, where 2.2% of youth aged 15-24 are living with HIV of which 2.1% are female and 0.6% in males. Thinking that the AGYW group has the potential to grow and strengthen the country’s economy and it is expected to do much and this shows that there is a much bigger problem to address particularly in closing the gap in economic advancement.

Her Initiative is striving to close the gap through a blend of economic empowerment and the Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) Approach. The approach provides knowledge, skills, and resources to start or improve businesses, and form groups and cooperatives to strengthen livelihood thereby reducing vulnerability to HIV and AIDS among AGYW Group.

It is evident that the effects of economic advancement have been recorded across many of the economic indicators including an increase in net profits and spending on health, household decision-making by women mainly in the use of contraceptives, education, and nutrition.

FIKIA+ project is our attempt to use the economic empowerment approach with the goal to support AGYW (15 – 24 years) with economic empowerment sessions baked and served at creating demand for HIV testing and Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) services in the Mwanza region.

Our partnership with ICAP Tanzania at Columbia University strives to accelerate, expand, and improve the quality of HIV prevention, care, and treatment in order to meet UNAIDS 95-95-95 targets in intervention. The project means to Sustain and Accelerate a Comprehensive HIV Response in the United Republic of Tanzania under PEPFAR.

Through our approach, we mean to improve HIV retention by supporting the holistic implementation of HIV prevention, testing, care, and treatment at the community and facility levels in Mwanza region in Tanzania.

Therefore, society at large needs to ensure that we look out for each other, by providing all the support necessary to attain good health among Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW). There is a famous proverb that states “Health is Wealth.” And for a person to retain good health, they need to make sure they take their medicine constantly and eat a correct balanced diet.


Despite the fact that the laws of Tanzania are combating the spread of HIV/AIDS, the problem is still continuously affecting adolescent girls and young women. As part of addressing the problem, the Fikia + project deploys various initiatives including training and mentorship on economic empowerment to AGYW which will help to improve their nutrition. 

Fikia + project is currently closing the gap from Strengthen AGYW’s awareness by building the ability to identify and act on economic opportunities, influence, make economic decisions, and challenge social and cultural norms that limit them to access health services.

Her Initiative seeks to position PLHIV AGYW  to reach and maintain untransmissible = undetectable levels of HIV (U=U). As this prevention method is estimated to be 100% effective as long as the person takes their medication as prescribed and stays undetectable.

Her Initiative in Partnership with ICAP intends

“AGYW is a group that we are supposed to invest in as it has the potential to create income systems for themselves and other young women as well, so the fact that it has a high percentage of new infections of HIV/AIDS shows that the society needs to move at a faster pace in redeeming the AGYW group from contacting, HIV/AIDS and providing alternative pathways for PLHIV AGYW to access care and retention to treatment.”

Says Lydia Charles, Executive Director of Her Initiative.

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