Women On Rise

Hassina Moukhariq Director of International Development, OCP Foundation

In what ways can knowledge and capacity building among women address challenges
related to climate change in the sector?

A major challenge is how to feed the increasing global population amid the diminishing availability of arable land. Food security is at stake in many parts of the planet and creating a more climate-resilient and sustainable agriculture sector is vital for Africa, as one of the continents most vulnerable to climate change. Farming communities can overcome challenges associated with climate change if they are empowered with holistic capacity building encompassing the entire value chain. Indeed, knowledge is the foundation of a resilient rural Africa that relies on a labour force that is 60- 80% represented by women. Key to developing resilience is supporting women farmers, entrepreneurs and scientists with accessible programmes to facilitate continuous education and training, thereby boosting the adoption of sustainable practices and improving the
livelihoods of farming communities.

What can firms do to enhance the integration of women in agricultural value chains?

While progress has been made in integrating women into Africa’s agricultural value chains, stakeholders must do more to ensure value that is commensurate with their outsized impact. One way to realise this is by empowering collective action through groups such as female cooperatives. This model, animated by the principles of economic and democratic participation, allows for an equitable and inclusive redistribution of wealth, the creation of
productive employment and social integration.

Organisations like OCP Foundation, for example, have been implementing strategies to engender the emergence of a new generation of cooperatives to maximise the benefits for women working in the agriculture sector.
This is buttressed by efforts to develop critical skills in key areas such as financial management and leadership – empowering women to engage in public advocacy to advance their interests, which are invariably communitarian. Also important is continued support for research and development. In one such initiative, OCP Foundation is working to forge closer ties with African universities by cultivating a strategic network of female agricultural researchers
across the continent. This would amplify the scholarly exposure of female scientists and magnify the impact of their work.

How do public-private partnerships (PPPs) leverage digital technology to support women
entrepreneurs across Africa?

As more public stakeholders embark on a path towards digitalisation, the private sector can help accelerate this process through efficient capital allocation and strategic advisory to ensure that PPP projects are tailored to the needs of female entrepreneurs in the sector. OCP Foundation, for example, supports women-led technology and AI
initiatives addressing climate change, promoting agricultural development, and advancing socioeconomic
progress across Sub-Saharan Africa

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