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AECF launches a programme to empower women in the agriculture sector in Kano State, Nigeria
Kano, Nigeria October 10, 2023 – The AECF (Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund) has today launched the Investing in Women in Nigeria (IIW-Nigeria), a CAN $15.7 million initiative funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC).
The program seeks to transform the role of women in agriculture value chains in Kano State, Nigeria, to increase incomes, improve climate resilience, and transform their livelihoods. The target value chains include maize, rice, soya bean, groundnut, and poultry.
The program will identify unique and innovative business ideas with demonstrable social impact. Using a challenge fund model, investees who offer innovative solutions in the target value chains will be identified through a competitive process that provides fair and equal access to available funding through non-repayable grants.
IIW-Nigeria will also provide non-financial technical assistance on gender equality, human rights advocacy, business and management, and climate-smart agriculture. Additionally, customized technical assistance will be provided through the AECF Advisory Studio.
The program will foster partnership and close coordination with multiple stakeholders, including business membership organizations, community-based organizations, women’s rights organizations, financial institutions, and government ministries, including agriculture, women’s affairs, commerce, and cooperative development.
According to the World Bank’s Nigeria Development Update, agriculture remains a crucial sector in the Nigerian economy, accounting for 25 percent of the GDP and employing a significant proportion of the workforce. However, the sector is yet to recover from the recession that hit the country in 2020.
Victoria Sabula, CEO of the AECF, said,
“It is well known that women face significant barriers in accessing funding, technical support, and business capacity development opportunities in the agriculture sector. These barriers have hindered their ability to grow sustainably and fully participate in the economic development of our country. Through the Investing in Women in Nigeria Programme, we will promote women’s economic empowerment in the agricultural sector by investing in businesses and cooperatives operating in various agricultural value chains.”
His Excellency, Alh. Abba Kabiru Yusuf, Executive Governor of Kano State, said,
” Today marks the dawn of a new era in Kano state. As we launch the ‘Investing in Women in Nigeria Programme,’ in partnership with AECF, we are investing not just in the future of our agriculture sector but in the strength, resilience, and boundless potential of our women. In empowering our women, we empower our entire state and nation. Together, we shall cultivate a harvest of equality, prosperity, and progress, where every woman’s dream can flourish and every field can yield the fruits of their labor. Together, we shall reap a bountiful and inclusive tomorrow for all.”
Note to Editors
Sobre a AECF
AECF (Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund) is a leading non-profit development organization supporting innovative agribusiness and renewable energy enterprises to reduce rural poverty, promote resilient communities, and create jobs.
AECF provides patient capital to highly innovative, early-stage, and growing enterprises that are hidden gems poised for greatness but that struggle to access funding from traditional sources of finance.
To date, we have supported over 400 businesses in 26 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, impacted more than 30 million lives, and created over 29,000 direct jobs,
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