SOUTHERN AFRICA – Export Trading Group (ETG), an agricultural commodities trader, has received US$1.4 million technical assistance grant from the African Development Bank (AfDB), to financially support women-owned businesses in Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia.
The grant is reported to have come from AfDB-managed We-Fi grant resources, which will be utilized to undertake a diagnostic study and capacity building of the selected enterprises in the major ETG locations.
Additional co-financing of up to US$400,000 will come from ETG for the employability aspects of the project. It will also be used to facilitate collaboration with financial institutions and other relevant stakeholders.
The project further aligns with We-Fi objectives of providing women-owned enterprises with opportunities to link with domestic and global markets, scaling up access to financial products and services, building capacity and expanding networks plus mentorship.
Slated to run through to 2025, the project targets to improve the entrepreneurship skills of about 600 women across the three countries through training under ETG’s Women Entrepreneurship and Employability project.
The project’s main objective is to increase the efficiency of targeted women-owned and led small and medium-sized enterprises employed in ETG’s operations.
It will be implemented in partnership with ETG’s development arm, the Farmers Foundation, a nonprofit organization established in 2012 in Tanzania to stimulate growth in agriculture and foster the development of rural economies.
The Farmers Foundation has worked with 100,000 (40% female) agribusinesses and created an inclusive sustainable development model in multiple value chains: oil seeds, legumes, pulses, cereals, coffee and cashew in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.
“This is the first project to directly leverage the Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa program (AFAWA) for Bank private sector agriculture projects, enhancing development impact while supporting women farmers and women-led small and medium enterprises,” noted Atsuko Toda, Director for Agricultural Finance and Rural Infrastructure Development for the African Development Bank.
The Bank’s role through the AFAWA program is to support the implementation of the project through provision of gender equitable financial and technical support in agriculture towards increased productivity and food security, access to financial services, information, markets, technology, and productive resources
“ETG has shown its commitment to embedding a gender perspective into its business operations with the understanding that this is key to its success and that women are at the center of this development process, and a crucial resource in agriculture and the rural economy,” said Esther Dassanou, Manager of the Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa ( AFAWA) program.
The technical assistance project complements a US$150 million trade and agri-finance package approved by the Bank in November 2021 to our strategic partner Export Trading Group (ETG).
The new initiative comes at the back-drop of the new partnership fostered between ETG and IFC, aimed to boost food security across four countries in sub-Saharan Africa by increasing access to critical agricultural inputs and training services.
The initiative focused on supporting smallholder farmers along the maize, soybean, and groundnut value chains, is set to run from July 2022 to December 2025 beginning in Zambia, followed by Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.
It targets an estimated 200,000 smallholder farmers who are set to benefit from expertise from ETG’s agri-inputs business division – Empowering Farmers Foundation and IFC.