President of Liberia, H.E Ellen Johnson Sirleaf , together with the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and action group Femme Africa Solidarité (FAS) will this month convene Heads of States and other key stakeholders on the ‘Empowering Women in Agriculture’ (EWA) initiative. The Breakfast Meeting will be held on the sidelines of the 27th AU Summit on the 16th of July in Kigali, Rwanda.
With the conviction that African women are crucial to agricultural transformation, EWA’s main concern is the lack of integration of the interests of female farmers in ongoing programmes for agricultural transformation in Africa. The result is that gender remains on the periphery of the growth process instead of being at the heart of it, despite the critical role played by women in African agriculture. The advocacy, funding and implementation of EWA is designed around appointment of Champions who include Heads of State and Government known for their commitment to women empowerment and leadership on women empowerment in their countries. Other Champions include eminent personalities and institutions that have demonstrated commitment to supporting Africa’s development agenda, particularly women empowerment. One such champion is H.E Olusegun Obasanjo, the former President of the Republic of Nigeria.
Building on the momentum generated so far, the EWA partners have organized this meeting bringing together EWA Champions and other stakeholders to update and brief them on the Regional Program Document which is based on eight (8) pilot countries national program documents. The EWA partners will provide an update on the EWA activities undertaken so far in a bid to garner support and firm commitment for the Initiative moving forward, thereby enhancing women’s participation in this critical sector.
The aim of the event is to provide increased stakeholder awareness on EWA; have increased high-level political and stakeholders’ commitment to the implementation of the First Phase of the Regional Program as well as pinpointing financial commitments for the start-up program.
The EWA initiative, of which Liberian President Madam Sirleaf and Rwandan President Paul Kagame are co-Chairs, was officially launched at the 19th AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2012.