A training workshop on AU-IBAR Procurement and Financial Requirements & Agribusiness Management Training is being held for Grant recipients of the African Union Member State (MS) Fund (with some contribution from the European Union). The training is being held in Nairobi from 10th – 13th September 2019 with the aim of empowering African youth and women to effectively participate in the animal resources sector.
The grant recipients comprise; existing women and youth-led enterprises and early start-ups in the animal resources value chain in Africa, African Youth in Livestock Fisheries and Aquaculture Incubation Network (AYL-FAIN), and members of the African Women in Animal Resources Farming and Agribusiness Network (AWARFA-N).
The selection of these recipients began in March 2019, when a Call for Proposals was launched. The response to the call attracted 295 project proposal submissions that were reviewed through a rigorous selection process that narrowed down the selected project proposals from 295 to 36. All 36 projects underwent ground verification. A final selection of 18 project proposals was made at a meeting held by the selection committee on 20th August 2019. The 18 projects comprise 15 accelerators and 3 start-ups from 5 regions and 17 countries.
Administering the grant has involved providing business management, technical and financial literacy awareness to grantees. This has meant moving away from the usual norm of disbursing funds to a more client-centred mentorship approach. The mentorship process has focused on practical steps - identifying good business opportunities, developing effective plans, and setting realistic goals. Follow-up progress visits to selected Youth and Women supported agribusinesses are expected to be undertaken in the following months, including an experience sharing workshop for awarded women and youth engaged in the animal resources sector.
The agribusinesses are projected to contribute towards many areas of development:
- Promote private sector driven business incubation in animal resources as a means of creating youth employment and wealth;
- Empower African youth and women by providing them with hands-on and transferable skills for sustainable jobs and wealth creation;
- Create jobs for would-be youth migrants or youths who currently crowd the cities with underemployment;
- Promote competitiveness of Africa’s animal resource value chains and quality of animal-based commodities from Africa;
- Promote intra-African trade in animal commodities and services;
- Promote market-led technical capacities and upscale of ICTs and innovations in the animal resources sector.
- Promote technology driven animal resources development through increased technology uptake in high priority value chains
The MS grant is for the first time being used to meet an identified need by Member State through the facilitation of AU-IBAR: to support and coordinate the improvement of Animal Resources (livestock, fisheries and wildlife) as a resource for human well-being in the member states of the African Union and contribute to economic development, particularly in rural areas.