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IDEP and Centre Songhaï launch training on agriculture for women and youth under the AfCFTA

26 March, 2024
IDEP and Centre Songhaï launch training on agriculture for women and youth under the AfCFTA

Porto Novo, Benin, March 26, 2024 (ECA) - In a landmark initiative to bolster agricultural skills among Africa’s women and youth, the African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP) in partnership with the Centre Songhaï, has launched a comprehensive training program in Porto Novo, Benin. Aimed at leveraging the opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the program combines online and face-to-face learning to provide a dynamic educational experience.

The week-long face-to-face session began on 25 March at the Centre Songhaï. Sessions will be led by industry experts, agricultural entrepreneurs, and experienced facilitators, ensuring an interactive and participative approach.

Twenty-five participants from various African countries, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia and Zambia, have been selected to take part in this cohort of trainees.

This predominantly female group (14, or 56%) is the result of a rigorous selection process. Participants in this online session acquired diverse knowledge including sustainable agricultural practices, entrepreneurship, business skills, networking, and collaboration among others.

Center Songhaï, as IDEP's strategic partner in this program, brings proven expertise in self-integrated agribusiness systems and success stories in implementing sustainable agricultural development models in several African countries.

The initiative, made possible by financial support from Denmark, aims to equip participants with the skills, knowledge, and resources they need to succeed in the agricultural sector and access regional markets. With its focus on empowering women and young people, the program aligns with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, notably Goals 2 (Zero Hunger), 5 (Gender Equality) and 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth).

The opening ceremony was marked by inspiring speeches from Salvator Niyonzima, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations system in Benin, Priest Godfrey Nzamujo, Director of the Songhai Centre, and Mamadou Cissé, representing IDEP.

Mr. Nzamujo underlined the importance of harmony between man and nature for sustainable development, while highlighting the universal principle that "Nothing is lost, everything is transformed".

Mr. Cissé underlined the crucial role that participants will play as key players in regional agricultural development.

The workshop was officially opened by Mr  Niyonzima who welcomed the diversity of the participants and encouraged them to take full advantage of this training opportunity. He also reminded them that "the Centre Songhaï was not born a model, but became one through determination, openness and innovation".

Participants will be immersed in practical activities throughout the session, enabling them to meet the concrete challenges they will face in the context of the AfCFTA, and better prepare themselves to contribute to inclusive and sustainable agricultural development.

Issued by:
Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel: +251 11 551 5826