What you need to know:
- The project will enable 200 women-owned businesses in each of the three countries to improve their entrepreneurship skills through training under ETG’s Women Entrepreneurship and Employability project.
- The programme’s main objective is to increase the efficiency of targeted women-owned and led small and medium-sized enterprises employed in ETG’s operations.
Some 600 women-led businesses in Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia will receive $1.4 million (about Sh165 million) in funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The technical assistance grant to Export Trading Group (ETG), an integrated agricultural supply chain manager and processor in sub-Saharan Africa, was approved by the bank’s board of directors.
Through a press release, AfDB said the project will enable 200 women-owned businesses in each of the three countries to improve their entrepreneurship skills through training under ETG’s Women Entrepreneurship and Employability project.
The programme’s main objective is to increase the efficiency of targeted women-owned and led small and medium-sized enterprises employed in ETG’s operations. It also aims to provide such enterprises with opportunities to link with domestic and global markets, scaling up access to financial products and services, building capacity and expanding networks plus mentorship. The initiative will run until 2025.
“This is the first project to directly leverage the Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (Afawa) programme for the bank’s private sector agriculture projects, enhancing development impact while supporting women farmers and women-led small and medium enterprises,” noted Atsuko Toda, AfDB’s director of Agricultural Finance and Rural Infrastructure Development.
The agriculture sector, the press release said, significantly contributes to the growth of the economies of Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia. Women constitute up to 60 per cent of the rural labour force and about 80 per cent of food producers in these economies.
“Of the financing for the grant, $1.4 million will come from AfDB-managed We-Fi grant resources, which will be utilised to undertake a diagnostic study and capacity building of the selected enterprises in the major ETG locations. Additional co-financing of up to $400,000 will come from ETG for the employability aspects of the project. It will also be used to facilitate collaboration with financial institutions and other relevant stakeholders,” stated the press release.
“Through Afawa, the bank will support the implementation of the programme through provision of gender equitable financial and technical support in agriculture towards increased productivity and food security, access to financial services, information, markets, technology, and productive resources,” said Esther Dassanou, Afawa programme manager.
“ETG has shown its commitment to embedding a gender perspective into its business operations with the understanding that this is key to its success and that women are at the centre of this development process, and a crucial resource in agriculture and the rural economy.”
This project will complement the bank’s $150 million trade and agro-finance package approved in November last year to EGT. It will be implemented in partnership with ETG’s development arm, the Farmers Foundation, a non-profit organisation established in 2012 in Tanzania to stimulate growth in agriculture and foster the development of rural economies.
As stated in the press release, the foundation has worked with 100,000 (40 per cent female) agribusinesses and created an inclusive sustainable development model in multiple value chains such as oil seeds, legumes, pulses, cereals, coffee and cashew in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.