Article originally published on AGRA News
On 22nd October 2020, AGRA officially became the new home for the VALUE4HERConnect, Africa’s first digital market place. The launch which had over 500 registered participants from Africa and beyond; emphasized the urgent need to get more women agripreneurs in the continent connected to more networks, markets, financing and training opportunities in order to scale up their businesses.
In her opening remarks Sabdiyo Dido, the Head of Gender and Inclusiveness at AGRA, noted that agriculture markets get more complicated as they move further along the value chain. She describe Value4Her as a platform that was constructed to bring women’s businesses to the path of profitability. The platform, she said, had demonstrated its potential as a go-to platform for women entrepreneurs in Africa to connect with one another and gain access to investments, market information and intelligence.
Eva Ndamono Shitaatala, CEO Zadeva Fisheries, Nambia and a member of the Value4Her platform was one such beneficiary. Eva described her experience going digital after loosing 80% of her revenue due to the lockdown brought about by the COVID 19 pandemic. Through the training she received; she launched an online marketing campaign that saw her business regain its footing and increase its profit by 20% per month. She spoke of the networks, synergy and accessibility brought about by Value4Her and noted that it felt good to brain storm and have others listen to you and share solutions.
Vicki Wilde, the Head of Gender in Agriculture at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation shared her excitement on the launch of Value4HER noting its importance in creating equity and strengthening women’s business networks through facilitated learning and links to buyers.
Dr Ibrahim Khadar, Director at CTA shared his delight in handing over the VALUE4HERConnect platform to AGRA. He stated that in his tenure at CTA which spanned over 20 years, no project has gained brand-recognition and acquired so many admirers faster than VALUE4HER. He was confident that with AGRA’s adoption of the platform it would continue to grow and mature into a rich source of benefits for women entrepreneurs in Africa.
The handover of the VALUE4HER initiative comes at a time when AGRA is refining its 2030 Strategic Framework and adopting a new lens for its gender and inclusion work. Through this, AGRA will aim to reach up to 5,000 women-led agribusinesses in Africa over the next five years, to offer growth pathways for their businesses, catalyse partnerships to build women’s digital skills and capacities and help them benefit from the emerging digital economy in agriculture.