AGRA empowers young women engaged in agriculture through Women in Leadership Summit 2024




Following a successful two-day Women in Leadership Summit in Rwanda, on March 14 – 15, 2024, AGRA has achieved a significant milestone in its mission to empower young women in agriculture.

Through its groundbreaking initiative, “Seeding the Future: Empowering Women at the Intersection of Agriculture, Finance, and Innovation,” the event drew in key stakeholders from across various sectors. The event not only underscored AGRA’s commitment to tackling the challenges young women face in agriculture but also showcased its dedication to creating an environment where they can thrive.

With a spotlight on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 2, and 8 – eradicating poverty, ending hunger, and fostering economic growth – the panel sessions illuminated the pivotal role of young women in propelling agricultural transformation and sustainable development across Africa.

Speaking during the event, Winnie Osulah, Lead Gender Integration at AGRA, highlighted the organization’s dedication to unlocking the potential of young women in agriculture. “Partnerships are fundamental,” she emphasized. “AGRA’s approach is rooted in market systems development, identifying and rectifying broken areas within the ecosystem through collaborations with various stakeholders. Youth and women’s empowerment can only be achieved through inclusive partnerships.”

To this end, Ms. Osulah underscored the tangible results of AGRA’s efforts in creating a supportive ecosystem for young women in agriculture. Initiatives like Value4Her, under which the Women Agripreneurs of the Year Awards (WAYA) lies, equip young women with the tools and knowledge they need to succeed in the agricultural sector. Launched on International Women’s Day in Abuja, Nigeria, WAYA is a prestigious award program recognizing female agri-preneurs demonstrating remarkable innovation and business excellence in agricultural value chains. Winners are rewarded with grants of up to $300,000.

Osulah also highlighted the crucial role of mentorship in empowering women, noting that AGRA’s mentorship programs are nurturing the next generation of women leaders in agriculture.

The panel session further delved into various topics, including identifying opportunities across the agricultural value chain, enhancing mentorship and networking support systems, and fostering collaboration among stakeholders. The session also spotlighted AGRA’s initiatives, such as the Women-to-Women Supply Chain Program and the Youth Employment in Agribusiness and Sustainable Agriculture (YEFFA) program in Rwanda.

“We are encouraged by the enthusiasm and commitment demonstrated by all participants towards empowering young women in agriculture,” emphasized Ms. Osulah. “AGRA’s YEFFA program is poised to make a significant impact in Rwanda. AGRA, through our country strategy, targets 1.5 million Small Holder Farmers (SHFs) and 70% being women.”

Participants are encouraged to register for WAYA, an award program celebrating female-led businesses in the agricultural value chain. Eligible businesses must operate within an agricultural or agribusiness value chain, be legally registered in an African Union country, and be at least 51% owned and managed by women who are citizens of one of the 55 African countries.

Established in 2006, AGRA is an African-led and Africa-based institution dedicated to placing smallholder farmers at the core of the continent’s burgeoning economy. AGRA’s mission is to transform agriculture from a mere struggle for survival into a thriving business. In collaboration with its partners, AGRA catalyzes and sustains an inclusive agricultural transformation aimed at increasing incomes and enhancing food security in 11 countries.

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