COP28: AfDB’s AFAWA grants $1.8m to boost entrepreneurship skills for women

Sat, Dec 9, 2023
By editor


THE African Development Bank Group’s  Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa, AFAWA, and Export Trading Group have signed a technical assistance agreement of $1.8 million to strengthen women’s skills in entrepreneurship in four countries.

Leadership from both organizations took part in a signing ceremony held Tuesday December 5th on the sidelines of the United Nations; climate conference COP 28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The grant for the “Strengthening the Entrepreneurship Skills of Women Owned & Led Businesses and Women Employees” project will support women Export Trading Group employees and entrepreneurs, as well as women-led small and medium enterprises and cooperatives. The project will be rolled out in Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.

The project aims to impact up to 3,600 women and women-led or owned businesses by placing them in Export Trading Group’s global supply chain over four years. ETG is a multinational company is recognized as a fast-growing, vertically integrated agricultural supply chain group in sub-Saharan Africa, with a presence in 40 countries. AFAWA is a pan-African initiative helping bridge the $42 billion financing gap Africa’s women entrepreneurs face, compared to men.

“Integrating women in the Export Trading Group value chain will go a long way in bridging gender parity by providing equitable access to climate-resilient [and climate-] smart agriculture skills, and creating a rural infrastructure that supports all facets of women’s engagement in agricultural markets,” said Dr. Beth Dunford, African Development Bank Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development.

“This will significantly contribute to food security and economic growth in the four countries,” she added.

The technical assistance includes training women employees to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and facilitate their access to finance and market linkages. Women make up a large proportion of Africa’s agricultural workforce, from production to consumption. Women also make 70-80% of purchasing decisions. The grant is financed through the Bank-managed Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, WeFi, that is part of the AFAWA initiative.

We are proud to partner with the Bank on the AFAWA project. By empowering women entrepreneurs in Africa, we can make local economies and communities thrive, which is a core part of our company strategy. Finding the right partners in this journey is important, and this collaboration is getting us a step closer to our goals.” Said Mr. Paul Van Spaendok, Chief Treasury Officer of ETG.

Export Trading Group’s Farmers Foundation will also take part in the project, providing smallholder farmers with training and extension services in basic business skills and good agricultural practices.

“The region boasts the largest number of women entrepreneurs, but their struggles to move beyond subsistence are still a reality. Harmonising public and private sector efforts is a necessary move to enable women employees, entrepreneurs and businesses along agricultural value chains to battle existing constraints and be given a fair chance to flourish,” said Kamini Menon, Chief Executive Officer of Export Trading Group Farmers Foundation.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).


-December 09, 2023 @ 09:40 GMT|