• Friday, April 12, 2024
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IWD: AGRA opens application for Women Agripreneurs Award

IWD: AGRA opens application for Women Agripreneurs Award

As part of activities to mark the 2024 International Women’s Day, AGRA has launched applications for Women Agripreneurs of the Year Awards (WAYA).

At the body’s recent event held at Childa Events Centre, Abuja, in commemoration of International Women’s Day, AGRA officially launched the call for the 2024 Women Agripreneurs of the Year Awards.

WAYA is a prestigious award scheme that recognises female agripreneurs demonstrating remarkable innovation and business excellence in agricultural value chains.

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“We received over 1,500 applications from women across 38 African countries in 2023,” Winnie Osulah, AGRA’s Lead for Gender Integration and Acting Director for the Youth, Gender, and Inclusiveness Division, said at the event.

“As we open the awards again this year, we expect to receive at least 500 applications in each category and continue our efforts to honour the relentless efforts, creative ideas, and outstanding leadership of women in the agri-food sector,” Osulah added.

Since 2021, the awards have been distributed across three categories; young female agripreneurs (those under the age of 35 years and have demonstrated innovation and leadership in business), female agriculture tech innovators (those championing technological advancement in agribusiness), and outstanding value-adding enterprise (female-owned agribusinesses that are increasing the economic value and consumer appeal to agricultural products).

The overall winner of the competition becomes the coveted Grand Prize Winner.

The awards not only celebrate their remarkable achievements but also reward them with grants of up to $300,000.

The Women Agripreneurs of the Year Awards is an initiative of AGRA’s VALUE4HER, a continental programme that is aimed at strengthening women’s agribusiness enterprises and enhancing their voice and advocacy across Africa.

The AGRA Gender Consortium in Nigeria, consisting of AGRA, Synergos, United Nation Women, and the Legal Awareness for Nigeria Women also leveraged the International Women’s Day event to promote knowledge sharing and collaboration.

They recognised the significance of the occasion in bringing together stakeholders from diverse sectors, including government, civil society, and the private sector, to address gender equality and women’s economic empowerment issues.

In 2024, AGRA introduced regional winners in the young female agripreneurs category and added two exciting new categories: women empowerment champion, and resilient & inspirational leader.

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Applications close on 31 May 2024 and the winning agripreneurs will be unveiled during the Africa Food Systems Forum to be held in Kigali Rwanda from 2 to 6 September 2024.

To be eligible, businesses must operate within an agricultural or agribusiness value chain, be legally registered in an African Union country, and be at least 51 percent owned and managed by women who are citizens of one of the 55 African countries.

The International Women’s Day event was held in honour of trailblazing women who are at the forefront of inclusive agricultural transformation across the country and continent.

It brought together women in agribusiness and influential leaders at various policy levels to amplify the urgency of investing in women to accelerate progress in the agri-food sector.