Financial exclusion is still a great need for the majority of Africa’s women in livestock keeping. This is exemplified by the focus on the assets that are far more accessible to men. As a means of contributing towards financial inclusion, AU-IBAR, under the Live2Africa Project, with funding from the European Union (EU), and in collaboration with the Africa Women Agribusiness Network (AWAN) brought together 64 continental, regional and national executives from the African Women in Animal Resources Farming and Agribusiness Network (AWARFA-N) at a capacity building workshop. The workshop themed "The Only Measures are Profit and Growth" was held on 27th – 29th November, 2019 in Naivasha, Kenya. The focus of the workshop was on resourcing, negotiating and utilizing innovative investment finance and insurance.
Speaking during the official opening of the capacity building workshop, AU-IBAR’s Director, mentioned that the workshop provided a strengthened and continuous process of capacity building for African Women AGRIBUSINESSES that AU-IBAR and AWAN hoped to embark on. Prof. Ahmed Elsawalhy stressed the importance of moving away from aid-related support to supporting agribusiness to ensure functional businesses, which as he further noted is a key focus of the Live2Africa Project.
He stated: "the most important remark came from our donor the European Union: support has moved from purely aid to supporting business. This is now the model, to ensure ownership, growth and sustainability. This is where the EU and other donors, who have had a long tradition of support to empowering women on the African continent are moving."
Ms. Beatrice Gakuba, Executive Director AWAN-Afrika reminded participants of the need to take advantage of existing continental instruments promoting agribusiness. She noted that the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement provides an opportunity for women to strengthen their trade practices through a hassle-free accelerated intra-African trade through a common voice in trade discussions. She emphasised that "the Africa We Want" will not happen if Africa’s women are not empowered.
A unique stakeholder workshop of over 60 participants gathered in Naivasha, Kenya from 2-6 September, 2019. The stakeholder workshop, which was facilitated by AU-IBAR under the funding of the European Union brought together three groups of technical leaders of the livestock sector to discuss ways of Enhancing Harmonization and Coordination for Implementation of Key Livestock Policies, Legal and Investment Frameworks.
The groups comprised of firstly, the Continental Animal Health Platform in Africa (CAHP-Africa), a platform that brings together private and public actors to provide strategic guidance for the implementation of the Animal Health Strategy for Africa. Secondly, the Guiding Group for the CAHP oversight that was established to lead the process of reproofing the vet profession in Africa by regularly reflecting on the approach and road map. The third group comprises the Directors of Animal Production (DAP) who were invited to establish a DAP Network which is envisioned to champion and energize the implementation of the Livestock Development Strategy for Africa.
The objective of the Stakeholder's Stocktaking meeting is to identify gaps along these selected regional value chains, inventorise the existing efforts and recommend the critical areas of intervention for catalytic effects for a coherent, accelerated and expanded impact.
Mr. Mwangi made a few comments are worth mentioning during the opening ceremony. The need for the Regional Livestock Value Chains to: include the Principle of Inclusivity and target support to women, youth and small scale producers); consider the Theory of change in regional/national concepts; The RECs choices need to be given high preference if our stocktaking will be viable and sustainable; to identify the gaps and improve the regional trade among the African countries as this would offer very good opportunities among the member states; the need for Public Private Partnerships to be well profiled in the concepts.
In his opening remarks, Prof. Ahmed Elsawalhy noted: ''In support of animal resources development and trade AU-IBAR with financial support of the European Union (EU) is implementing a programme, Sustainable Development of Livestock for Livelihoods (Live2Africa) to provide the catalyst needed to ensure that the livestock sector becomes one of the most important contributors to the African common market through the development of regional livestock values chains which will harness regional complementarities and economy of scale. This stocktaking exercise is one of the important first steps in achieving this objective.''
The Stakeholders Stocktaking Exercise has drawn 240 participants drawn from both public and private sectors; 49 AU Member States; Representatives from Regional Economic communities; Representatives from International and regional organisations working on animal resources development; Livestock development experts and; Staff from Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture of the Africa Union Commission.
In support of animal resources development and trade AU-IBAR with financial support of the European Union (EU) is implementing a programme, Sustainable Development of Livestock for Livelihoods (Live2Africa) to provide the catalyst needed to ensure that the livestock sector becomes one of the most important contributors to the African common market through the development of regional livestock values chains which will harness regional complementarities and economy of scale. This stocktaking exercise is one of the important first steps in achieving this objective.
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