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Citation Information

Type Report
Title A mapping of existing initiatives on women in agriculture by different stakeholders in Rwanda
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Publisher Institute of Policy Analysis and Research-Rwanda
Abstract
The Empowerment of Women in Agriculture (EWA) initiative was launched at the 19th AU
Summit held in 2012 and co-chaired by H.E. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia and
H. E. Blaise Compaore, President of Burkina Faso. The 20th African Union Summit
expressed support for the initiative through the adoption of decision No 473- The Assembly
further notes progress made in the initiative to Empower Women in Agriculture (EWA) with
priority areas of land reform, leadership, access to inputs and knowledge, and pledges
support for enhancing the role of women in agriculture.
EWA aims to develop innovative ways for empowering rural women who constitute a
significant proportion of the agrarian work-force in African countries. EWA will operate
through strategic programs of capacity building in key areas, to be identified, to support
women farmers to maximize their critical roles in the sector. These programmes will mainly
focus on: policy and institution strengthening in the agriculture and related sectors, especially
trade, industry, Science and Technology; and promoting women’s access to key production
resources (land, finance and technology). This will improve productivity, enhance
entrepreneurship capacity and promote a wider participation by women in the agricultural
value chain, thus significantly increasing their contribution to Africa’s sustainable
development.
The initiative is being coordination the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and
has the support of several African Heads of State as well as major private sector partners
including the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Africa 20, Gender is My Agenda (GIMAC), Africa
Media Initiative (AMI) and Femmes Africa Solidarite (FAS).
The central policy framework driving EWA is the Comprehensive African Development Programme
(CAADP), the compact between African nations for investing in and developing the agricultural
sector. The aim is to achieve the progressive empowerment of women through the main programmes
and strategies of all the Four Pillars of CAADP, at country and regional levels. The overarching goal
of EWA is to mainstream the empowerment needs of women in all major development policies and
programmes that promote agricultural growth, food security and structural transformation in Africa.
The immediate and long term goal of the EWA programme is to fully develop the capacity of women
working in and around the agricultural environment for higher productivity and economic
empowerment through sustained entrepreneurship. This will, in turn, be compliant with securing
women’s rights under international law and the AU Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality (92004).
Empowered women farmers will not only contribute effectively to food security in their communities
and countries but they will become key partners in national economic growth and the global
integration of the African continent.
The objectives of EWA are to:
 improve the gender sensitivity of all policies and programmes in the agriculture and linkage
sectors, including in all Four Pillars of CAADP;
 increase the participation of women farmers in all programmes designed for agricultural
growth, structural transformation and food security, including in all four Pillars of CAADP;
 increase the benefits accruing to women farmers from empowerment programmes in
agriculture and linkage sectors;
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 ppromote food security and other core objectives of CAADP and national agricultural
policies
The first phase of the EWA initiative was a needs assessment through Women in Agriculture
(WAG) report (ACBF, 2012) that identified that identified the key areas which need to be
focused on in building strategic initiatives for empowerment of African women farmers. The
outcome of the WAG report provided a roadmap for more in-depth, contextual and
comparative background analysis of the problems of women in agriculture at country level
and for mapping initiatives completed in six (pilot) countries – Burkina Faso Ethiopia,
Liberia, Malawi, Rwanda, and Tanzania. It also enabled the construction of the EWA
Indicators that will be used to track progress in empowering women in agriculture. The next
stage is to develop a comprehensive continental programme document that will drive change
by providing the Initiative’s promoters and other EWA partners with detailed proposals for
activities and an implementation framework. The comprehensive programme document will
be informed by country programme documents based on the country mapping studies and
developed through consultations with stakeholders

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