AGRF Summit, formerly known as the African Green Revolution Forum, brought forth illuminating insights into the state of agriculture across the African continent. With the release of the Africa Agriculture Status Report (AASR), the spotlight was firmly fixed on the role and significance of women in this essential sector.
The AASR, an authoritative voice on the continent’s agricultural prospects, delves deep into the intricacies of Africa’s farming landscape. Of notable importance in this year’s report is its emphasis on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which could be a transformative force in African agriculture, interlinking markets, expanding trade boundaries, and fostering innovation.
However, beyond the macroeconomic narratives and strategic roadmaps, the AASR paints a compelling picture of women as the bedrock of African agriculture. Women, who till the lands, sow the seeds, and ensure that harvests reach our homes, find a renewed voice in the report.
Maida Waziri, President of Voice of Women Entrepreneurs Tanzania (VOWET), was particularly vocal about the report’s findings. “The AASR is not just data and projections; it is the collective voice of women, a clarion call echoing the essence of our shared agricultural heritage,” she remarked, highlighting the depth and richness of the report’s narrative.
For organizations such as VOWET, this report rekindles the flame of advocacy and the pursuit of equity. “Despite being the linchpins of African agriculture, women have often been overlooked, underrepresented, and under-supported,” Ms. Waziri added. She emphasized that the AfCFTA’s real promise will only unfold when women, fundamental to Africa’s agricultural tapestry, are empowered with the resources, knowledge, and platforms they deserve.
“The AASR’s in-depth exploration of the vast potential and challenges faced by women punctuates the pressing need for an inclusive strategy that places women at its core,” continued Waziri.
It’s evident that the AASR has catalyzed a broader conversation, reaching beyond just policy and trade, speaking to the heart of communities, and underscoring the pivotal role of women. As Ms. Waziri rightly encapsulated, “Our moment for transformation is here, and it is evident that women will lead the charge in scripting a new chapter for African agriculture.”