The African Enterprise Development Support Fund (AECF), which specializes in subsidizing and providing interest-free loans to private enterprises in Africa, plans to launch by 2018 an initiative to promote and support the female entrepreneurship in the agribusiness sector. This is what Steve Tawia, director of investments and portfolio management of the institution, said in an interview with the ecofin agency.
Concretely, this will involve providing women project leaders selected during competitions on the basis of several criteria (innovation and commercial feasibility in particular), technical and managerial assistance enabling them to enter the field of agribusiness.
The initiative will concern all agricultural value chains with commercial potential, including rice, cashew nuts and cocoa, and will focus on all of sub-Saharan Africa with particular attention paid to West and Central Africa. Francophones with a view to geographic diversification of the portfolio of projects supported by the Fund.
“The idea is to send very strong messages during competitions in order to get women often perceived as being in the back of decision-making to take up farming thanks to female entrepreneurs serving as role models. Like the chicks Benz of Togo who are influential in the business world, we need chicks Benz in the agribusiness, “says Mr. Tawia.
Moreover, says the manager, this project is only part of the group’s ambitions for the next three to five years.
In fact, over this period, the Fund also intends to continue to diversify its sources of financing, raise funds for the implementation of a program for the integration of young people in agribusiness and strengthen its support for the food industry. seeds on the continent.
As a reminder, the AECF was founded in 2008 in Nairobi, at the initiative of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
Since then, the Fund, which has a capital of $ 256 million, has already supported more than 257 projects in 24 countries and emphasizing both agriculture and renewable energies, and adaptation to changes. climatic.