AWAN Communique on Addis Ababa Meeting 28-29 January 2019

Agriculture plays a significant role in Africa as it employs 65% of the work force and contributes 32% of GDP. Similarly, approximately 70% of Africa’s population depend directly on agriculture for their livelihood.

Over 62% of economically active women in Africa work in agriculture as producers, traders and processors. However, strong links to high-value markets, access to necessary finance and resource, and sufficient business training are essential requirements for women business leaders to break through the ‘glass ceiling’ and expand their agribusinesses on the continent and in the global marketplace.

Since 2003, African Women Agribusiness Network (AWAN) and its partners have implemented various projects and other networking activities designed to empower African women in Agribusiness and support business models that can help its members grow their businesses, create more jobs and contribute to rural development. In response to the challenges in the development of agribusiness, AWAN – Africa is focusing on four pillars, namely: women’s economic inclusion, market linkages, trade and Agri-Tech in order to make it easier for women around Africa conduct their agribusinesses.

In July 2018, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA)together with its implementing partners launched #VALUE4HER. This program seeks to strengthen women-led agribusiness enterprises in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific (ACP). #VALUE4HER is built on the rationale and development evidence that women-owned businesses grow when the businesses’ front-end linkages with national, regional and global markets and end-line linkages with women supplier businesses.

The overall objective of this initiative is to enhance value for women from agribusinesses through:

• Access to high value national, regional and global agriculture and allied markets • Improved leadership skills and capacity for/by women agribusiness leaders to manage agribusinesses • Increased advocacy and knowledge networking (including digital application and use cases) to unlock economic barriers.

To inform future plans and activities AWAN with support from CTA #VALUE4HER is organizing a workshop for sharing experience and to shape the future with what works for the next generation of AWAN and AWANUnder30.

The workshop will take place in Addis Ababa and will be co-hosted by the Ethiopian Women in Coffee. With agribusiness champions from the Horn of Africa and Eastern Africa this Regional conference will be held at Azzeman Hotel on 28th and 29th January 2019 with an official launch of Agribusiness clubs, starting with Ethiopia.

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