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Export Trading Group Secures $1.4m Grants From AfDB To Empower African Women Business Owners

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has approved a $1.4 million technical assistance grant to Export Trading Group (ETG) for the funding of women-owned businesses in three countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

ETG is one of the largest and fastest-growing integrated agricultural supply chain managers and processors in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The project will enable 600 women-led businesses in Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia (200 in each country), to improve their entrepreneurship skills through training under ETG’s Women Entrepreneurship and Employability project.

Its main objective is to increase the efficiency of targeted women-owned and led small and medium-sized enterprises employed in ETG’s operations. The project will run until 2025.

To finance the grant, $1.4 million will come from AfDB-managed We-Fi grant resources, which will be utilized 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.

The project will be implemented in partnership with ETG’s development arm, the Farmers Foundation, a nonprofit organization established in 2012 in Tanzania to stimulate growth in agriculture and foster the development of rural economies.

The Farmers Foundation has worked with 100,000 (40% female) agribusinesses and created an inclusive sustainable development model in multiple value chains: oil seeds, legumes, pulses, cereals, coffee and cashew in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.

The project aligns with We-Fi objectives of providing women-owned 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.

Director for Agricultural Finance and Rural Infrastructure Development for the AfDB, Atsuko Toda said this new technical assistance project complements a $150 million trade and agri-finance package approved by the Bank in November 2021 to their strategic partner ETG.

This is the first project to directly leverage the Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa program for Bank private sector agriculture projects, enhancing development impact while supporting women farmers and women-led small and medium enterprises”, Toda added.

Similarly, the Manager of the Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) programme, Esther Dassanou noted that the Bank’s role through the AFAWA programme is to support the implementation of the project 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.

“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 center of this development process, and a crucial resource in agriculture and the rural economy”, she stressed.

The agriculture sector significantly contributes to the growth of the economies of Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia. Women constitute up to 60 percent of the rural labor force and approximately 80 percent of food producers in these economies.

In a related development, the AfDB, the Green Growth Knowledge Partnership and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), have hosted a dialogue to revalidate Mozambique’s commitment to mainstreaming its natural capital to spur the transition to a green economy.

Mozambique, alongside Tanzania, was selected as a pilot country, for applying a natural capital approach in investment processes.

The national dialogue titled “Africa Green Economy Conference: Innovative Pathways for a Nature Positive Future from Policy, Business and Finance”, took place under the Natural Capital for African Development Finance (NC4-ADF) initiative and the Economics for Nature programme.

The dialogue brought together government representatives from key sectors, development partners and civil society to discuss how to place nature at the heart of economic development. Participants explored opportunities for developing public policy that values better Mozambique’s unique natural capital assets, which are vital to ensuring a robust, inclusive recovery and the transition to a nature-positive economy following the Covid-19 pandemic.

In his remarks during the opening plenary, Mozambique’s Deputy Minister of Land and Environment, Fernando Bemane called for increased public and private investment to strengthen the technical and financial capacity of national institutions and promote the inclusion of natural capital accounting in national accounts systems for better transparency, planning and data production.

“We are aware that the road to an inclusive and sustainable green economy is still quite long”, he said. He congratulated the partners and other actors that have actively contributed to promoting a green economy and climate action.

In Mozambique, the natural capital assessment focuses on the Pemba-Lichinga Integrated Development Corridor, which the Government has targeted for developing a special agro-industrial processing zone, with support from the AfDB.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=78957

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