Liberia President Calls for More Support for Women in Agriculture

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President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says the lack of access to finance for women in agriculture remains a constraint that must be addressed if women are to become more productive in Africa’s agricultural transformation.

The President made the statement when she chaired a high-level breakfast forum of the Empowering Women in Agriculture (EWA) initiative in Kigali.

She called on African leaders to support the initiative, adding that “EWA has the potential of lifting women farmers out of poverty through enhancement of their productivity.”

The Liberian leader also said the implementation of the EWA initiative will integrate women farmers’ interest into ongoing programs of agricultural transformation in Africa.

Also making remarks at the forum, Senegalese President Macky Sall called for more support for projects which give women opportunities to expand in agriculture.

He said not enough resources are being directed towards buttressing the efforts of African women in the areas of business and governance, a situation which, he said, was depriving African economies of potential spin-off benefits.

The Co-Chair of the EWA Initiative, Rwanda President Paul Kagame said women empowerment in all spheres is tied to rapid and effective national development and growth.

In a statement delivered on his behalf by Rwandan Agriculture Minister Dr. Geraldine Mukeshimana, the Rwandan President called on African leaders to integrate women issues into the mainstream of all sectors of society.

For his part, the President of the African Development Bank Dr. Akinwumi Adesina promised more support from the bank for the EWA Initiative in keeping with its own policy for improving agricultural productivity on the continent, while African Union Commission Chairman Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma promised the AU’s renewed commitment to the initiative.


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