PRESS RELEASE – 14.06.19

AWAN-Afrika held its first ever African Conference on ‘The Role of Women and Youth in Agribusiness for Inclusive Market Transformation across Africa’, from 12 to 13 June 2019, in Nairobi, Kenya. In attendance were 21 African countries, 157 female delegates out of which 17 under 30 years of age championing young agripreneurs, as well as 11 international institutions related to agribusiness. “Each participant walks away with a better understanding and references on where to find friendly financial institutions, new markets and routes, trading blocs and their rules and what it takes to do business with one another”, concluded AWAN-Afrika Executive Director, Beatrice Gakuba. Delegates have been encouraged to take advantage of the platform created through AWAN-Afrika and Value4Her to expand their collaboration and businesses in Africa and globally as a whole. “Through design thinking, participants will innovate and understand how to creatively come up with new ideas on how to deal with challenges relating to their businesses”, added Gakuba. According to FAOSTAT, women, on average, comprise 43% of the agricultural labour force in developing countries. And yet, they often do not benefit as much from the business end of the value chain where there are the most opportunities for income generation. “This means that half of the population is missing out on the chance to fulfill their potential, maximize their earnings, and benefit from better prospects for them and their families”, pointed out Sabdiyo Dido Bashuna, Senior Technical Adviser Value Chains & Agribusiness, Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA). “Not only this, but the economy is missing out on valuable contributions while producers could be overlooking key opportunities to reach new and bigger markets”, added the representative of CTA, co-organizer of the Nairobi meeting. After July this year, traders across Africa will be able to make use of preferential trading arrangements offered by the African Union’s Agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Representatives of AUC’s Commissioner of Rural Economy and Agriculture, CILSS, AGRA and the Kenyan Government conveyed statements of support. AWAN-Afrika focuses on women and youth in trade facilitation, championing an enabling environment for trade and investment for an inclusive market transformation across Africa. Women Champions received Recognition Awards for the efforts put in the Agribusiness Value Chains as well as the progress made. The Award Ceremony honored the achievements and success stories of individuals and their businesses in Uganda, Namibia, Somalia, Kenya and Guinea in the following categories: AWAN-Under30, Blue Economy, Resilience & Commitment, Leadership, West African, a special Mama #VALUE4HER went to Ms Sabdiyo Dido Bashuna, Senior Technical Adviser Value Chains & Agribusiness, Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), for her inspiration and leadership in ensuring women and youth reap the benefits from Agribusiness.

Conference Highlights -Masterclasses: Financial Inclusion, Market Access and Trade Facilitation, Quality Assurance and Quality Control -Hackathon Session: Design Thinking for Agri-Tech -Business -2-Business Fair (B2B) -Launch of Digital Platform (#Value4HerConnect)

African Women Agribusiness Network Afrika (AWAN-Afrika) is a not for profit company limited by guarantee. The Network was established in 2003 with a vision to create a platform for African women in Agribusiness to access market, trade information and finance so as to become significant players in global trade. AWAN-Afrika subscribes to Agenda 2063 particularly the Malabo declaration on Agriculture and Agenda 2030 in developing a people driven, relying on potential of African people especially its women and youth. Globally, we are aligned to the SDGs. AWAN-Afrika’s secretariat is based in Nairobi, Kenya. Our network comprises of individual members including #AWANUnder30, agribusiness groups, association and Agribusiness clubs across the continent. The organization provides women owned agribusinesses with a platform that facilitates women and youth inclusion in agribusiness, access to sustainable markets, trade information, innovative financing solutions, appropriate Agri-technology and opportunities to share what works.

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