More than 400 women signed up on Africa’s first online platform for female agripreneurs, which was launched in Nairobi last week. This was during AWAN-Africa’s first continental conference and VALUE4HER B2B fair.
The platform dubbed, VALUE4HERConnect, will enable the agripreneurs to connect, network, and grow their businesses. It is part of a programme led by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), which aims to empower women in agriculture.
Though accounting for 40 per cent of the agricultural workforce worldwide, women’s participation in agribusiness is often limited to low-profit production.
“While women are key players in agriculture, they often face challenges at the business end,” said Ms Sabdiyo Dido Bashuna, the senior programme coordinator, Value Chains and Agribusiness at CTA.
” With VALUE4HERConnect, they now have access to buyers, to market information and intelligence, investment and capacity building opportunities, which will ultimately help them to form strategic partnerships to access global markets for increased incomes,” Ms Bashuna added.
The platform includes a Women2Women Community forum to enable them to interact, trade, and share information, including country profiles, trade policies, and market entry requirements. It will also help to bring women entrepreneurs in agriculture together in a virtual community, serve as an important business resource for members, and provide Information on financing and opportunities for training.
The VALUE4HER Women in Agribusiness event was jointly organised by the African Women Agribusiness Network (AWAN), and the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) under the theme, “Enhancing women inclusion in agribusiness”.
During the two-day event, women agripreneurs from 21 African countries gathered for masterclasses, and hackathons, and to pitch for opportunities, showcase their businesses and try to secure regional and global business deals.
Ms Beatrice Gakuba, the executive director of AWAN, said: “Today, we have this opportunity to accelerate the manufacture and intra-African trade of value-added products, moving from commodity-based economies and exports to economic diversification and high-value exports. The demand is high.”
The platform will further bridge the data and information gap and boost the connection of women to intra-African opportunities, finance, and markets. “We are pleased to partner with CTA and AWAN. VALUE4HERConnect will make a difference in how women grow and scale their businesses. The platform bridges the gap in information and data. We connect women to intra-African opportunities, finance, and markets,” said Ms Irene Ochem, founder and CEO of AWIEF.