WAFM holds Access to Finance Event to Unlock Financing for Staple Foods Trade in West Africa
The West Africa Food Markets Programme- funded by UKaid/DFID and implemented by the Palladium Group organized a two-day forum on the theme “Access to Finance Forum for Agribusinesses in West Africa” in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on 7th and 8th March 2018.
The forum brought together over 80 participants comprising agribusiness industry players and financiers as well as policy makers from Burkina-Faso, Ghana, Nigeria and Niger to address the key financial constraints facing agribusinesses operating in staple foods trade in West Africa.
On 7th March, 2018, the first day of the event, the forum focused on Financing Agribusiness Opportunities in West Africa addressing agribusinesses specific financing needs including access to working capital that will help processors buy produce from farmers at harvest for processing: access to credit to pre-finance production by smallholder farmers and access to finance to expand production and processing capacity of agribusinesses.
In opening remarks by Terry Lacey, WAFM Team Leader, he stated that Africa needs development and opportunities and the private sector should take the lead in driving development in agriculture. He indicated that WAFM’s role was to deploy appropriate resources to support the private and public sector in West Africa in developing the agricultural sector. He therefore encouraged governments of WAFM focus countries to develop the necessary framework for agricultural development and the private sector to be responsible for investing in the projects.
A representative of the Burkina-Faso Minister of Commerce also gave opening remarks indicating the government is creating a favourable environment for trade of staple foods by introducing an initiative aimed at enhancing food security and involving all stakeholders in the agricultural sector to develop staple foods. He further stated that the government is implementing other activities including: easing access to funding for development of industries; restructuring the agricultural sector to find target areas for food security; working together with stakeholders to improve the value chain of products like Sesame; and investment codes to assist actors interested in investing in agricultural sector.
The first day of the forum allowed WAFM Grantees to present their businesses focusing on the model, impact, achievement as well as financing needs to financiers for consideration. There were also presentations by the financial institutions and financing facilitators to the grantees on what financing opportunities are available and how they could access such opportunities.
On 8th March, 2018, which was the International Women’s Day, the forum was themed: “Women in Agribusiness” and was aimed at strengthening the entrepreneurial capacity of women in agribusiness as well as address the specific challenges facing women in agribusiness in West Africa.
In opening remarks, the WAFM Team Leader, Dr. Terence Lacey acknowledged the huge contributions of women to ensuring food security and nutrition at the family level and in the nations as well. Dr. Lacey disclosed that WAFM would work in partnership with women groups to access finance, increase production, facilitate market linkage, and influence governmental policies for improved business environment for women in agribusinesses, especially WAFM clients.
The Women in Agribusiness Forum gave opportunities for presentations by women involved in all aspects of the agricultural value chain (production, processing, marketing) and finance.
There was also a panel discussion with a women-only panel that discussed gender empowerment and pathways for further growth in agribusiness development. The panelists included the Representative of Minister of Economy, Finances, and Development, Madam Paulina ZOURE, Miss Kofo Sanusi from the UK based Palladium Headquarters, Madam Marie Bationo, the CEO of Amya Agro, Miss Uzoma Ikechukwu from the Sahel Capital, Miss Oluyemisi Iranloye, the CEO of Psaltry International amongst others.
Please find links to resources from the WAFM Access to Finance Workshop held in Ouagadougou from 7th to 8th March 2018. Conference Report are available here
- Day 1-Report on Access to Finance Forum-French Version
- Day 1-Report on WAFM Access to Finance Forum English Version
- Day 2-Report on Empowering Women in Agribusiness in West Africa French Version
- Day 2-Report on Empowering Women in Agribusiness in West Africa English Version
- Conference Picture Report here
- Conference Participants List
Day 1-7th March 2018-Financing Agribusiness Opportunities
Agribusiness Finance Mechanisms-Presentations by Financial Institutions
WAFM Agribusiness Panel
Presentations by WAFM Grantees
Day 2-8th March 2018-WAFM Forum on Empowering Women in Agribusiness
Stories of Women in Agribusiness
Story of Women in Farming-Presentation by Marie Bationo-Amya Agro
Story of Women in Agri-Processing-Presentation by Psaltry International
Story of Women in Finance/Banking-Presentation by Sahel Capital
Agribusiness Women Empowerment Panel