Bridging the Gender Gap in African Agriculture

On April 5, with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) project, through the U.S. government’s Feed the Future Initiative launched its 2017 round of Gender in Agribusiness Investments in Africa (GAIA) competition. The competition entailed a rigorous selection process that saw over 200 applications, selected winners from 18 countries gathered in Accra to strengthen their business skills and pitch ideas to investors. From April 3-4, a group of 31 agribusiness entrepreneurs from across West and North Africa participated in an intensive entrepreneurship program, and then on April 5 these entrepreneurs presented their research and innovations to potential investors. In attendance were USAID/Ghana Mission Director, Andrew Karas and AWARD Director, Dr. Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg.

The entrepreneurs learned about the current investor landscape, how to raise funds, and networked with potential investors and collaborators. During the event, entrepreneurs received training on how to successfully integrate gender issues across their businesses. The event culminated with a pitching competition where three leading entrepreneurs were pronounced winners and received cash prizes.

The AWARD project, under Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative, aims to promote gender responsive agriculture and improve the efficiency of agribusiness through its entrepreneurship competition. “The Gender in Agribusiness Investments for Africa competition was launched to bridge the gender gap in agricultural research and highlight the important role gender plays in spurring economic growth,” remarked Mr. Karas.

“We are particularly keen that, as it grows in importance, the agribusiness sector does not exacerbate existing social inequalities, but rather remains a vehicle for inclusive agricultural growth for the continent,” said Dr. Kamau-Rutenberg.

The 2017 round of GAIA competitions was funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) as part of its High Five strategy, which includes Feed Africa, an initiative to transform Africa’s agricultural sector for enhanced and inclusive economic growth. According to AfDB’s Gender Policy and Program Coordinator, Dr. Basil Jones, “GAIA addresses the need for inclusive innovation systems in agricultural research and development by ensuring the visibility, commercialization and scaling up of gender responsive agricultural innovations.”

Leading the development of the GAIA training content is Intellecap, an international training and consulting firm focused on advancing market-oriented innovations that have positive social and environmental impacts on the most vulnerable populations. This event was also supported by the African Agribusiness Incubators Network (AAIN) which nurtures agribusiness incubators to strengthen agribusinesses across the continent.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Embassy of the United States – Accra – Ghana.

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President Farmaajo declares war on Alshabab, calls on the public to support security agencies

The president of the Federal Republic of Somalia, His Excellency Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo has declared the country is in a state of war with the terror group Alshabab and has asked the Somali people to stand with the country’s security agencies in their fight against the terrorists.

“I declare we are in a state of war with Alshabab, this war would no longer be one-sided. I order the security forces to be alert and take part in pacifying the country. This won’t be a war for only the security agencies, we want the public to stand by us.”

The president also gave an ultimatum of 60 days to the youth fighting for Alshabab to surrender and be part of the government’s rehabilitation program.

“I want to call on the Somali youth misled by Alshabab to denounce violence, and the government would welcome them, educate them and create job opportunities for them. I tell them they have 60 days of amnesty, make use of it.”

President Farmaajo said the country faces the triple threats of terrorism, corruption and poverty. He asked for concerted efforts from all sectors to face these threats.

The president also sent his condolences to the families and friends of the innocent people who lost their lives in yesterday’s terror attack in Mogadishu and prays for all those injured in that cowardly attack.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Federal Republic of Somalia – Office of the President.

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Categories: AFRICA | Tags:

Africa telecom and finance leaders assess accelerating digital investment opportunities

Leaders from Africa’s biggest telecom investment companies including MTN, Orange, Helios Towers, American Tower, Eaton Towers, Google, Microsoft, Liquid Telecom and SEACOM are meeting with investment bankers, investors and advisers in London on May 24 to discuss accelerating new investment opportunities in digital communications and infrastructure.

Telecom and tech companies are increasing investment across Africa as the rapidly improving digital infrastructure and services, and the take up of smartphones, provide huge opportunities for business and revenue growth.

“Telecom and tech companies are ramping up their investment plans for digital infrastructure and services across Africa as reach of service and demand is soaring,” commented an investment banker focused on Africa. “On the infrastructure side, operators are investing in spectrum, especially in the 700MHz band, as well as on strengthening their networks by migrating from 3G to 4G LTE-based services. Mobile tower operators are also investing heavily while submarine and terrestrial cable providers have been increasing the available backbone infrastructure.”

“Improving broadband speeds and access is also having a big impact on both business to business and consumer focused opportunities. Datacentre investment appetite is growing and Smartphone take-up is supporting the growth in m-commerce, m-money and m-banking services which presents a massive opportunity for vendors and application providers.”

Over 200 senior telecom, media and tech executives, including many industry CEOs, investment bankers and advisers will meet at TMT Finance Africa 2017 ( at the Hilton Hotel Tower Bridge in London on May 24 to discuss the new investment and partnership opportunities.

The executive only event, which is in its eight year in London, features over 70 speakers and 25 sessions on telecom, media and tech investment and partnership opportunities for Africa.

Participating companies include: MTN Group, Orange, Liquid Telecom, Eaton Towers, American Tower Corporation, Jumia Food, SEACOM, Savannah Fund, Fibersat, PayStack, Sliide Airtime, Connect Africa, Rack Centre, Citi, Helios Towers Africa, Standard Bank Group, Atlas Mara Ltd, Draper Dark Flow, Google, Microsoft, Ringier Africa, Norton Rose Fullbright, WorldRemit, IFC, Amadeus Capital Partners, WIOCC, Societe Generale Chanzo Capital, Africa Mobile Networks, African Broadcast Network, Intelsat, Digital World Capital, MainOne Cable, M-KOPA Solar, Flexenclosure, Hardiman Telecom and African Capital Alliance.

Key sessions include:

Africa Telecom Leaders – Strategies for regional growth
Mobile Towers Africa – Who is leading mobile towers investment across Africa?
Broadband Leadership – Investing in next generation infrastructure for Africa
Mergers and Acquisitions – Who will lead the next wave of transactions in Africa?
Digital Africa – Who is leading investment in Africa’s Digital Economy?
Enterprise Cloud & Datacentres – Which business models are most investable?
Financing African TMT – Raising debt and equity capital
Africa Pay-TV – How investment is transforming the landscape
Mobile Payments Africa Panel – How is the market developing?

Find out more at

Distributed by APO on behalf of TMT Finance.

Media contact:
+44 (0) 203 747 4602

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Categories: AFRICA | Tags:

New African Woman Awards Nominees Announced

The New African Woman magazine will hold the second edition of its popularly-received New African Woman Forum (NAW Forum) ( in Dakar, Senegal, on 12 and 13 April.

Following weeks of public nominations from across the continent and its Diaspora, the final nominees for the much-anticipated New African Woman Awards 2017 have been announced.

Chosen in 12 categories, 68 groundbreaking women have made the final list which will now be adjudicated by a special panel of judges, and the winners in each category will be announced on 12 April at a Gala Dinner in Dakar, Senegal.

The new UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina J. Mohammed, Somalia’s first female presidential candidate Fadumo Dayib, Gambia’s doyen of democratic change, Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang, Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the South African Olympic gold medallist Caster Semenya and her fellow countrywoman, former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, are some of the names that made the final list from the thousands of nominations received.

Organised by the pan-African bi-monthly, New African Woman magazine, the Awards – which celebrate and honour exceptional African women who have made a positive impact and contributions in their communities, and the continent at large, in the past 12 months – take place on the eve of the New African Woman Forum, which takes place at Dakar’s Terrou-Bi Hotel on 13 April.

Click here for the full list (

The New African Woman Awards and Forum, first held in London in March last year, under the theme “Changing The Game”, were born from the ethos that launched New African Woman magazine nine years ago: to boldly and positively highlight, share and represent African women’s issues, on the premise that women are an indispensable element in Africa’s growth story, and to celebrate the women contributing to that change.

Distributed by APO on behalf of IC Publications.

For further media information or interviews contact:
Ishara Callan
Sarah Absmeier

About New African Woman Forum & Awards (
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Categories: AFRICA | Tags: