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Bridging the Gender Gap in African Agriculture

The African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) held its Gender in Agribusiness Investments for Africa (GAIA) bootcamp in Accra. “AWARD launched the GAIA initiative out of a realization that a gender lens has the potential to enhance the efficiency and efficacy of agribusiness on the continent. We are particularly keen that, as it grows in importance, the agribusiness sector does not exacerbate existing social inequalities, but rather remains a vehicle for inclusive agricultural growth for the continent,” remarked Dr. Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg, AWARD’s Director.

The 2017 round of GAIA competitions is an initiative of AWARD, funded by the African Development Bank under its African Women in Business Initiatives program implemented by the Bank through the Norwegian Trust Fund. According to Dr. Basil Jones, the bank’s Gender Policy and Program Coordinator, “GAIA addresses the need for inclusive innovation systems in agricultural research and development by ensuring the visibility, commercialization and scaling up of gender responsive agricultural innovations.” The Bank’s engagement with GAIA as part of its High Five strategy includes Feed Africa, an initiative to transform Africa’s agricultural sector for enhanced and inclusive economic growth.

USAID/Ghana is a proud long-time partner of AWARD through Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative. 114 agricultural researchers, mostly women, from across Ghana have benefited from the AWARD fellowship and alumni have recently launched Ghana Women in Agricultural Research and Development (GhaWARD).

Speaking at the culmination of the Accra bootcamp, Mr. Andrew Karas, USAID/Ghana Mission Director highlighted contributions of GAIA to economic growth on the continent. “The Gender in Agribusiness Investments for Africa competition was launched to bridge the gender gap in agricultural research and highlight the important role gender plays in spurring economic growth,” Mr. Karas stated as he emphasized the Mission’s support for GAIA.

Source: News Ghana

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