The Ghana Chapter of the Women in Agribusiness, Africa (AWAI, Ghana), which comprises women entrepreneurs in various segments of the agricultural value chain, has been launched in Accra.
The group seeks to primarily institute mechanisms for mobilising funds and other resources to support members.
It will also equip them with relevant skills through training; foster market linkages through trade missions; and advocate for women-friendly business initiatives and policies, among other things.
Speaking at the launch, the Chief Executive Officer of the African Agribusiness Incubators Network (AAIN), Dr Alex Ariho, commended the women for coming together and said it was important for them to organise themselves to be able to influence public policy.
He said there was the need to change the narrative of women’s enagenment which focused on numbers.
He said it was not a question of numbers, but what one was able to contribute in terms of influencing the process to effect change.
“Nowadays, we are talking about inclusive development and it is no longer an issue of women or men. You cannot win a war when you look at one side but except left and right.
So, it is important that you look at inclusive development because that is where the world is heading,” he said.
Dr Ariho said the group must endeavour to develop programmes that did not keep women in primary production because the resources and the benefits were not at the primary level.
“Every initiative should not only talk about primary production. Why is it that others are investing in the upper part of the value chain and African women are in the lower part? We must start thinking about the other part of the value chain for women to be drivers,” he stated.
He urged women entrepreneurs to volunteer to mentor younger women into the agribusiness arena and make them part of the agenda.
A representative of the Women in Agric Development Directorate at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Madam Alice Dawson, urged AWAI to work hard to make it an incubation hub for women in agribusiness in Africa.