PORT NOVO, Republic of Benin, 9 October 2012 – Over 200 participants from 14 African countries took part in a workshop on developing agribusiness entrepreneurship and agribusiness value chains as a way of empowering young women and men in Western Africa.
The four-day event, “Women and youth as catalyst for agribusiness development and growth in Western Africa”, was organized at the Songhai Centre by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), UN Women, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the UN Development Program (UNDP).
Participants shared best practices in implementing agribusiness strategies, showcased state-of-the-art processing machinery, established a network of young agro-entrepreneurs in the region to share information and develop a strategic plan of action to promote agriculture as a lucrative business.
Grace Ongile, the UN Women Representative to Nigeria and to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), said that “when women and youths are empowered there is a strong linkage between not only the growth of the agribusiness sector but also the development of the economy”.
Noting that agribusiness is widely acknowledged as a central component of economic growth and sustainable development, especially in emerging markets, Mosunmola Umoru, a representative of women farmers in the region, said: “If we are fully empowered to achieve our dream for those of us who have chosen to pursue a carrier through the agribusiness sector, it will be possible for Africa to attain food security”.
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