More than 400 women have signed up to Africa’s first online platform for female agripreneurs, launched today at a trade fair in Nairobi.
The VALUE4HERConnect network will help bring women entrepreneurs in agriculture together in a virtual community and serve as an important business resource for members.
The network, which was launched at AWAN-Afrika’s first continental conference and VALUE4HER B2B fair, is part of a program led by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) to empower women in agriculture.
Despite accounting for 40% 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 Sabdiyo Dido Bashuna, 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 towards accessing global markets for increased incomes.”
The platform includes a Women2Women Community forum, allowing women to interact, trade and share information, and market information such as country profiles, trade policies and market entry requirements.
The network also provides information on financing and opportunities for training.
The VALUE4HER Women in Agribusiness event was jointly organised with the African Women Agribusiness Network (AWAN) and the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) under the theme of “Enhancing women inclusion in agribusiness”.
During the two-day event, women agripreneurs from 21 African countries gathered for masterclasses, hackathons and pitching opportunities to showcase their businesses and try to secure regional and global business deals.
“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,” said Beatrice Gakuba, Executive Director of AWAN. “The demand is high.”
Irene Ochem, founder and CEO of AWIEF, added: “We are pleased once again to partner with CTA and AWAN: VALUE4HERConnect will make the 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, to finance and to markets.”