Economic empowerment of African women through equitable participation in agricultural value chains

The African Development Bank has launched a report that seeks to empower women to take the lead in agribusiness and agriculture value chains thus participating in Africa’s economic growth process. The report, Economic Empowerment of African Women Through Equitable Participation in Agricultural Value Chains, identifies opportunities for women that can increase Africa’s competitiveness and participation in global value chains. Women’s presence in the agricultural labour force is significant at 50% and produces 80% of Africa’s food. There is no better overlapping opportunity to support women’s economic empowerment and to strengthen a critical sector on the continent. The study, jointly commissioned by the Office of the SEOG and the Bank’s Department for Agriculture and Agro-industry, identifies opportunities for women in four subsectors including cocoa, coffee, cotton and cassava sectors in Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and Nigeria, respectively. These sectors account for US $43 billion in production and US $12 billion in export value across the focus countries. They present opportunities to expand the export market share by improving processing techniques and integrating production into regional and global value chains, the report indicates.