Women, Youth in Africa Need Access to Financing and Markets

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The 2015 African Green Revolution Forum was held Sept. 29 – Oct. 2 in Zambia. Organized by the AGRF Partners Group, the government of Zambia and the Common Market for East and Southern Africa, the theme for the event was “Walking the Talk on Youth and Women: Bringing Inclusive Agricultural Markets to Life.”

Michael Sudarka, AGRF program director, says this is timely and apt, as Africa seeks to make the prosperity inherent in agriculture more inclusive for women and youth. Sylvia Mwichuli, AGRF convenor, adds that Africa’s agriculture has the potential to generate all of the food that is currently imported, valued at $35 billion per year.

Historically, women and youth have been disenfranchised with regard to accessing agricultural finance and markets.  For Africa to fully unlock the prosperity inherent in agriculture, Sudarka says that the full value chain must work for men, women and youth.

“Africa must define clear strategies for increasing access to operation finance and to lucrative markets to enable youth and women engaging in agriculture as a business enterprise,” he says. “This will, in turn, spur the growth of associated industries, with the net result being more shared prosperity for Africa’s men, women and youth.” Source: Africa Green Revolution Forum.

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