Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, June 4, 2018

Agriculture related sessions at the European Development Days

5-6 June 2018. Brussels. European Development Days 2018

Panel discussions
The Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women (MDDW) in Reproductive Age indicator
Maternal micronutrient malnutrition is a widespread challenge faced by women living in resource-poor settings, affecting their and their children's survival and health through intrauterine growth retardation. When monotonous diets lack vegetables, fruits and animal-source foods, risk for micronutrient deficiencies is high.

Key points
  • Improving the quality of women's diet is the best way to stop the inter-generational cycle of malnutrition.
  • The Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women (MDDW) is a tool to address this problem.
  • MDDW has been rolled out with success in various countries, and it is welcomed by local authorities.
  • Madeleine Onclin
    Team Leader Nutrition
  • It needs to be implemented with care. There is no single MDDW and people have to be trained to use it.
  • Himeda MAKHLOUF Directeur - Direction de la Nutrition et technologies Alimentaires - Minsitère de la Santé Publique, Ministry of Public Health
  • Sarah Bernhardt, Attachée European Commission - DG for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO)
  • Annekathrin Rosa, Advisor GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit)
  • Madeleine Onclin (see picture) Team Leader Nutrition, European Commission - DG for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO)
  • Estefania Custodio, Scientific Officer, European Commission - DG Joint Research Center (JRC)
  • Maria Antonia Tuazon, Nutrition and Food Systems Officer, FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)
  • Himeda MAKHLOUF, Directeur - Direction de la Nutrition et technologies Alimentaires - Minsitère de la Santé Publique
  • Sarah Bernhardt, Attachée, European Commission - DG for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO)
  • Annekathrin Rosa, Advisor GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit)
  • Madeleine Onclin, Team Leader Nutrition, European Commission - DG for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO)
  • Estefania Custodio, Scientific Officer, European Commission - DG Joint Research Center (JRC)

The Land Rights Now campaign for secure indigenous and community lands and how to ensure equal land rights for women.
The session discussed evidence of challenges and opportunities to secure women’s land rights within indigenous and local communities that enjoy collective rights to natural resources. It will do so by connecting research and action. Special focus was given to the Land Rights Now campaign.

Key points
  • Women’s right to land should be secured as a guarantee for food security.
  • Existing discriminatory practices must be identified and norms remodelled in a gender-sensitive fashion.
  • Customary practices may perpetuate gender injustice and discriminatory norms
  • Corruption linked to formalised land registries form a major challenge to women’s land ownership.
  • Imke Greven Policy Advisor Oxfam Novib
  • Elisabetta Cangelosi, Consultant International Land Coalition
  • Annette Jaitner, Land Programme Lead, Transparency International
  • Joan Carling, Indigenous Peoples Major Group

Hidden hunger: Produce more or empower more? Why gender matters
Agricultural policies are progressively taking into account the sociocultural context of farmers, to become more gender inclusive and nutrition-oriented. An inclusive panel will present and further illustrate the project’s findings with field experiences and provide food for thought on the way forward.

  • Alissia Lourme-Ruiz, Post-PhD, Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement
  • Madeleine Onclin, Team Leader Nutrition, European Commission - DG for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO)
  • Mazouma Sanou, Animatrice, Union Provinciale des Professionnels Agricole du Houet, Burkina Faso
  • Grace Kata Banda (see picture), Young Leader - Malawi
  • Patrick Caron, Chairman Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement

Going Digital: Sustainable development in agriculture for women
This lab shared digitalisation opportunities for women and by women in agriculture and discussed how they can be leveraged for improved livelihoods.

Key points
  • Women have significantly less access to effective mobile technology to be more efficient farmers, mainly due to lack of available funds and lack of sharing by men.
  • Bridging the digital gender gap in agriculture means greater emphasis on financial and logistical literacy requirements for rural-based women.
  • Big money decisions relevant to women and agriculture will need to be made soon for the next seven-year EU budgetary period.
  • Helping women in agriculture has been too piecemeal while organisations such as the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) need to focus more programmes on addressing women’s needs and skills.
  • Naledi Magowe, Co-Founder CMO, Brastorne Enterprises
  • Rose Funja, Managing Director, Agrinfo Company Limited
  • Patrick Ignatius Gomes, Secretary-General, ACP Group of States
  • Leonard Mizzi, Director, Directorate C, European Commission - DG for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO)
  • Chris Addison (see picture), Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation
  • Michael Hailu. Director Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation
  • Linda McAvan, European Parliament
  • Gillian Stewart, Program Manager, Women in Business Development Incorporated

EU-Africa Business Forum (EABF) Follow-up dialogue 2018: Women in Business: the African perspective
The potential of women in key economic sectors for the African continent: namely agriculture and agribusiness, digital economy, renewable energy and MSMEs. 

Key points
  • Gender, jobs and investment are at the top of the EU-Africa political agenda.
  • African women are resilient and entrepreneurial.
  • Societal mindset change will drive inclusive growth and job creation.
  • Poor infrastructure and connectivity are holding African businesses back
The African Union Commission’s Continental Agribusiness Strategy is about creating a dynamic, inclusive agribusiness sector that adds value to primary produce, generates employment and income, and contributes to economic growth and reducing food dependency in Africa. Africa entrepreneurs are not looking for aid; they want financing. Europe supports this and is looking to create networks based on equal partnership. The Sustainable Business for Africa platform (SB4A), for example, enables the scaling up of structured dialogue with the private sector and other key players to improve the investment climate to accelerate job creation. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is also looking to encourage long-term financing solutions for African entrepreneurs.
  • Luisa Santos, Director Business Europe
  • Maria Shaw-Barragan, Director European Investment Bank (EIB)
  • Koen Doens, Deputy Director-General, European Commission - DG for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO)
  • Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union Commission
  • Christine Leurquin, VP Institutional Relations and Communications, SES - Societe Europeenne des Satellites
  • Agnes Kalibata (see picture), President Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
  • Yvonne Faye, General Manager Énergie R
  • Nafy Diagne, Founder AWALEBIZ
  • Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of the Department of Small Business Development, South Africa

Women’s leadership in African farmers’ and rural producers’ organizations
Women empowement and leadership development is one of the focus areas of the Supporting Farmers' Organisations in Africa Programme (SFOAP). In this context, the Programme has been supporting Regional Women Wings in West (ROPPA) Central (PROPAC) and Southern Africa (SACAU), and has supported the business of women cooperatives in Eastern Africa and West Africa.


  • Fatma Ben Rejeb  (see picture @ the mleft)CEO Panafrican Farmers Organisation (PAFO), Tunesia
  • Roberto Longo  (see picture @ the right), Senior technical Specialist, International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • Annick Sezibera (see picture in the middle), CEO Confédération des Associations des Producteurs Agricoles pour le Développement, Burundi
  • Regis Meritan, Head of Sector Agricultural Growth, European Commission - DG for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO)

Rural women in decision-making and enterpreneurship:
forest and farm producer organisations and cooperatives have solutions.
Strengthening business skills, ability to adopt new technologies and innovation, and climate-resilient farming practices are also important elements in empowering women and youth to become independent economic actors, and to access high-value and fast cycle sustainable value chains.
@FFP_agricord #agricord @FAOForestry #forestfarmfacility

  • Jennipher Handoondo, Zambia, Treasurer of the Tree Nursery Association, Founding member of the Zambia National Farmer Union forest commodity committee, District Agriculture Show Society award-winner for inspiring women into tree nurseries’ business
  • Charity Kathambi Chepkwony (see picture), Kenya Member of Parliament, Njoro Constituency, Nakuru County, Chairperson of the Beyond 1 Billion Trees Mau Women Community-Based Organisation, Treasurer of the Nakuru Smallholder Fruit Producers Association, Member of the Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Natural Resources
  • Januario Ntungwa  (see picture), Uganda, Country Coordinator in Trias Uganda. Trias is an agri-agency accompanying farmers’ organisations to strengthen their
    capacities and develop services to better serve their smallholder members, women and men. Part of the inclusiveness work, identification of bottlenecks in farmers’ organisations’ services’ provision has been done in order to raise awareness and for setting transformative plan to sustainably empower women and youth in rural livelihoods.
  • Kati Partanen, Finland, Facilitator and Chair of Women’s Committee, World Farmers Organisation Board member of MTK Central Union of Finnish Farmers and Forest Owners, Senior lecturer, Savonia University of Applied Sciences, Forest and farm producer

Women’s empowerment in pastoralist societies
How pastoralist women are key actors in developing value chains, dealing with climate change and fighting for land rights

Key points
  • Women pastorists experience double marginalisation, as pastoralists in the wider society and as women within their communities.
  • Climate change and desertification are building pressure on pastoralists.
  • Intervention focus has been on crisis response and is now shifting toward longer-term development of resilience.
  • Their local knowledge should be taken into account in policymaking.
  • NATASHA MARU Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 
  • SHOBA LIBAN (see picture) Pastoralist Women for Health and Education – CELEP Eastern African partner, Somaliland
  • HINDOU OUMAROU IBRAHIM Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad 
  • VERONICA GONZALEZGONZALEZ United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation 
  • ROBERTO APARICIO-MARTIN European Commission's Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development

Investing in ACP Women’s Graduation from the Informal Economy
The numbers of women still operating within the informal economies is staggering. The ACP Group, hosting the majority of LDCs and women entrepreneurs in the informal sector, is the battleground on which the 2030 Agenda will be won or lost.

Key points

  • For women, the formal economy opens doors to new financing possibilities.
  • The public sector can scale-up access to finance, technology and knowledge.
  • Partnerships are needed at all levels to help lift women out of poverty.
  • Capacity building is helping rural women move their businesses up the value chain.
  • Viwanou Gnassounou, Assistant Secretary General, Sustainable Economic Development and Trade Department
  • Gillian Stewart, Program Manager, Women in Business Development Incorporated
  • Emma Kawawa, Founder and Chairperson, Tanzania Women CEOs Roundtable
  • Leonard Mizzi, Director, Directorate C, European Commission - DG for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO)
  • Axel de La Maisonneuve, Deputy Head of Unit, European Commission - DG for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO)
  • Lucy Muchoki (see picture), Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Agri-business and Agro Industry Alliance

Promoting gender transformative approaches in rural development
Approaches that have promoted the economic empowerment and rights of women through raising their voice and participation in rural movements or farmer based organisations, or through raising their awareness of their land rights.
The panel’s collective message was a call for deep-rooted social change. In her closing remarks, EU DEVCO’s Deputy Director-General Marjeta Jager reinforced this message, admitting that whilst there is no blueprint approach to GTA, we need holistic and innovative solutions in all areas: from agriculture to education to health. According to Marjeta Jager this was one of the most important panels of the EDD. See the article about of this panel


  • Pamela White, Senior Manager, FCG International Ltd
  • Philip Owitti, Executive Director, Men for Gender Equality Now
  • Marguerite Belobo Mbia (see picture), Country Program Coordinator, SNV Cameroon
  • Shoaib Sultan Khan, Chairman, Rural Support Programmes Network - Pakistan
  • Stefan Schmitz, Deputy Director-General, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany (BMZ)
  • Shachar Re'em, Deputy Director MASHAV Carmel Training Center, Israel’s Agency of International Development Cooperation
  • Anne Meskanen, Ambassador for global women issues and gender equality, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
  • Marjeta Jager, Deputy Director-General, European Commission - DG for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO)
  • Hazel Malapit, Senior Research Coordinator, International Food Policy Research Institute
  • Pamela White, Senior Manager, FCG International Ltd
  • Philip Owitti, Executive Director, Men for Gender Equality Now

Leading the change: Empowering women and girls for a thriving rural economy
Enhancing policy dialogue and cooperation on strengthening the role of women and girls in agriculture and rural areas.

Key points
  • The linkage between agriculture and agro-business is essential to address food insecurity and Africa’s economic transformation.
  • Promoting access to land, promoting financial inclusions as well as private instruments, are essential in rural areas.
  • Successful development of the untapped employment and production potential requires a focused job strategy, in particular for women and girls across the continent.
  • An approach is needed that aims to support value-chain development, skills development and the improvement overall business climate.
  • Partnerships with government and the private sector and international organisations are essential to ensure the right business regulatory conditions for investment
  • Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko (see picture), Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union Commission
    'A major challenge is that women do not have access to land. We have a land policy initiative which aims that 30% should have access to land by 2025.'
  • Phil Hogan, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission
  • Yong Li, Director General, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO)
  • Fatma Ben Rejeb (see picture), CEO Panafrican Farmers Organisation (PAFO)
    'We see more women taking posts at administration level but it is really not enough.Women themselves should have direct access to the leadership positions.'
  • Tom Arnold, Chairman, DG AGRI/DEVCO Task for Rural Africa
    @23:40 he explains the role of the Rural Task force
  • Mella Frewen, Director-General, FoodDrinkEurope
  • Grace Kata Banda, Young Leader - Malawi

Trade and women's economic empowerment
The role of trade facilitation in providing equal access and opportunities for women entrepreneurs. It will also cover the role of international trade in women's economic empowerment more generally and explore ways how women can benefit more international trade.

The debate looked at ways in which trade policy can be made more inclusive, contributing to women’s economic empowerment. It built on the issues discussed at the International Forum on Women and Trade in June 2017 as well as the actions listed in the Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment at the WTO Ministerial in December 2017, such as identification of barriers that limit women’s participation in trade or sharing experience in conducting gender-based analysis of trade policies. It explored ways how women can benefit more from international trade.

Key points

  • There is a two way relationship between trade and gender: trade has an impact on women's well-being and gender inequality damages the economic competitiveness of a country.
  • There is a need for better gender-based analysis of trade agreements. For that a new approach to sex-disaggregated data collection is required.
  • Trade offers many opportunities for women entrepreneurs, but they face specific challenges such as access to finance and disproportionate care burden.
  • For trade to make meaningful change it needs to be inclusive trade.
  • Lila Caballero Sosa, Acting Head of Research and Programme Policy, ActionAid UK
  • Denese Palmer (see picture), Panelist Southside Distributors LTD
  • Hilde Hardeman, European Commission - Service for Foreign Policy Instrument (FPI)
  • Syed Tauqir Shah, Ambassador Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the World Trade Organisation
  • Marion Jansen, Chief Economist, International Trade Centre (ITC)
  • Nikolaos Zaimis, Adviser European Commission - DG for Trade (TRADE)
  • Simonetta Zarrilli, Chief, Trade, Gender and Development Programme, UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development)

Innovation and Sustainable agriculture - tools to bridge the gender gap
Promoting African sustainability through tech entrepreneurship, e-agriculture and smallholder farming. The debate address existing funding opportunities and how they can encourage the private sector and civil society to increase African investment - in partnership with governments - into ICT networks, climate smart agriculture, and innovative farm programs directed to breach the gender gap.

Key points
  • African agriculture is feminised. Women account for around 80 % of farm workers.
  • Land ownership is still largely in men's hands and this prevents women from having access to capital and the inputs they need to increase production.
  • Education is essential so that farmers can make the most efficient use of seeds, fertilisers and other technologies to boost output.
  • New technologies, especially digital ones, offer a chance for African agriculture to enjoy a major leap forward in productivity.
  • Joseph Hyacinthe Owona Kono (see picture), President Afruibana
  • Imane Belrhiti VP Sales and Marketing for Africa, OCP Group
  • Otmane Bennani Smires General Counsel OCP Group
  • Henriette Geiger European Commission
  • Mujinga Tambwe Communication Officer International Trade Centre (ITC)
  • Charlotte Libog Founder Afrique Grenier du Monde
  • Agnes Atim Apea Founder and CEO Hope Co-ops

Thursday, June 7. - Side event
The EC together with ECOWAS and WAEMU organised the High level conference on job creation, growth and competitiveness in West Africa. Focusing on 3 areas – MSMEs, agribusiness and digitalization - the conference will bring together high-level policy makers from the EU and West Africa, financial institutions and the private sector.


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