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Launch: FAO-IAFN Women’s Accelerator Mentorship Programme for Women-led SMEs in Africa

Women entrepreneurs in the food and agriculture sectors are vital contributors to sustainable development. Their endeavors play a pivotal role in fostering inclusivity and economic prosperity by generating employment opportunities, elevating household incomes, and yielding a myriad of societal benefits. Nevertheless, it is imperative to acknowledge that, despite their significant impact on the agriculture industry, rural women often grapple with notable disadvantages. In comparison to their male counterparts, they frequently encounter challenges related to accessing essential resources, receiving adequate training, obtaining financial support, and securing social safeguards. Addressing these disparities is paramount to fostering equitable opportunities for these remarkable women.

The International Agri-Food Network (IAFN), in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), launched the 2023-24 Women’s Accelerator programme during the 2023 Science in Innovation Forum at the World Food Forum. The event included a panel of Mentees and Mentors from the programme, along with Deputy Director-General at FAO Beth Bechdol, and IAFN Chair Michael Keller.

“We are delighted to welcome another cohort of 50 mentees who will participate in the second round of the FAO-IAFN SME FAOAccelerator Programme for Women-led SMEs. Drawn from 18 countries across Africa, the mentees are contributing to food systems transformation on the African continent. Their enterprises are not only contributing to food and nutrition security. We have great innovations that are addressing several challenges including climate change, food loss and waste and promoting sustainable consumption and production. We thank our mentors who are drawn from 22 countries across the globe. We believe this mentorship journey will help the women accelerate to the next level, creating an even greater impact for their communities and agrifood systems.”

Read the article from the FAO here.

More information about the 2023-2024 programme will be shared soon.

Learn more about the 2022-2023 programme here.

Watch the webcast here.


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