I would not normally think of a toilet as a public enterprise. But that’s exactly what African Enterprise did. One of their key strategies is to help the local people, typically women, to form self-help cooperatives of 20 members each. Each cooperative would decide to develop businesses matching their skills and local needs. Our job is to learn about the businesses, interview the members of the cooperatives, take photographs and videos, and publicize their stories through their web site, promotional materials, and our own channels.
The lady manager speaks with confidence and authority. She employees a man who collects the fees and does the chores around the place. I was told that in the past, women usually stay home and do not work outside; hence they do not enjoy a lot of economic power. Now a lot more women work gainfully, and enjoy a lot more independence and higher status in society. I was also told that there is a practical reason why the members of the cooperatives are generally women - women tend to be more loyal members!
I find it all very encouraging and amusing.