In 2021, the Food and Agriculture Organizations of the United Nations (FAO) and the African Women in Agribusiness Network (AWAN) joined forces to initiate a mentorship and coaching program targeting young women agripreneurs and rural champions in three Eastern Africa countries, namely Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. The webinar will present the results and lessons learned from this experience, with the aim to generate a broader debate on the opportunities and support needs for young women agripreneurs in Eastern Africa.
This webinar aims to highlight common challenges faced by young women agripreneurs across Eastern Africa and identify existing and emerging opportunities, good practices and priority interventions that can inform policy recommendations to support young women in their journey to embrace agriculture as a decent and profitable means of livelihood. The discussions will also inform the development of a policy brief on the same.
Webinar format and focus
Building upon the experience and lessons learnt during implementation of the joint FAO-AWAN project, the webinar will be an opportunity to share testimonials from young women agripreneurs and engage in fruitful dialogue with other relevant stakeholders in the region. The main areas of support covered under the FAO-AWAN partnership have been Financial Inclusion and Financial literacy, Market Access and Soft Skills in agriculture entrepreneurship. The workshop will therefore focus on those three thematic areas for panel and plenary discussions.
The workshop will consist of two panel sessions, introducing a broader interaction and debate with the audience. The first panel discussion will focus on young women agripreneurs, highlighting their specific challenges, roles and opportunities in the African food systems and the risks of gender-blind programming and policy interventions. The second panel discussion will focus on concrete policy recommendations to enable young women agripreneurs to harness current and future agripreneurship opportunities in agrifood systems, with focus on good practices and lessons learned in relation to agripreneurship support and financial inclusion.
The main outcomes of this webinar will be the following:
1. Share experiences and lessons among a range of stakeholders engaged in supporting young women entrepreneurship in agrifood systems, including lessons learned from the FAO-AWAN Afrika initiative;
2. Garner guidance for future policy work on this topic, such as suggestions for programmatic actions and policy recommendations, to inform a policy brief on enabling young women in Eastern Africa to harness current and future entrepreneurship opportunities in agrifood systems.
Target Audience and participants
The event will gather government officials from Member States, the UN System and development partners, private sector, together with young women agripreneurs, rural women’s leaders and groups, representatives of civil society organizations and research.