Posted by WAM NY Marketing Commitee
We were delighted and honored to be part of Ziblim Fatima’s leadership aspirations. She is one of our 2014 WAM NY Scholarship winners and is a continuing student at the University of Cape Coast and the CEO of Suglo Rural Microfinance. She started her business in June 2013, and so far it has grown rapidly, helping her create employment for women in her community. Employment has created the means for women to provide adequate care and support to adolescent girls in schools to prevent them from falling prey to “Kayaaye” (teenage pregnancy, school drop-out and early marriages). Through her leadership, Ziblim is contributing significantly to lift her community, especially the women, out of chronic poverty.
In addition to a $1500 SMDP Ghana tuition scholarship awarded to her by WAM NY, Ziblim has received ongoing support from CAMFED Ghana. The Executive Director of their Ghana partner, Yaw Gyamfi, was so impressed with Fatima that he even bought her a new laptop. This is what Yaw had to say about why he decided to support Fatima:
“My motivation is that I admire the bold initiative she has taken in serving women even at her tender age and with her limited resources. This couples with the fact that her coverage area is also deprived and her target clients are all women. I was also touched by her eagerness and commitment to learn about microfinance. I am also interested in the type of data that she would be capturing as part of her work. The reason for my generosity is not out of place, as every year I donate my one-month salary to the needy and I have not gotten the chance to do that in the north, so for me it is timely. I told her to stay focused and make sure she can account for any inflow into her business by keeping records of all transactions. I also want to contribute to her model so that her business succeeds. The laptop would be a tool to accelerate and support that process.”
WAM NY is very proud of Ziblim, and we wish her the best of luck with Suglo Rural Microfinance. We are sure that such a driven young woman will continue to impact her community and change women's lives.
Posted by WAM NY Marketing Commitee
By Daniel Howden, February 17, 2014, as seen on The Guardian
Borrowing money did not come naturally to James Gachacha Chira. The 56-year-old, who farms a smallholding in the shadow of Kenya's Aberdare mountains, has a conservative streak that many farmers would recognise. Tales of bankrupted smallholders who lost their land to bad loans are common here, as are woeful stories of farmers swindled by corrupt co-operatives.
"I was afraid of borrowing money as I heard that farms are repossessed when you can't pay," the father of six admits. "So I never used credit before."
Gachacha was persuaded to change his mind after accompanying a friend one afternoon to a talk being given by a Kenyan agronomist at a local hall. Obadiah Ngigi had quit his well-paid job with Care International to pursue a private venture that he believes could transform the lot of Kenya's smallholder farmers.
Ngigi had spent months designing a green loans scheme that would offer cheap credit to small farmers in return for simple conservation measures. He grew up not far from the Aberdares' forested peak, where the soil was good enough to attract the attention of British colonists who decamped here in such large numbers that it came to be known as the white highlands.
These days, outside of a handful of big commercial farms, the land is divided into thousands of small plots, many of them on slopes where soil erosion has been accelerating. In the past 60 years, a third of the world's arable land has been lost to soil degradation. This has led to falling yields in much of Africa.
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Gender Gap Holds Back Africa's Women Farmers: New Report Identifies Policy Interventions to Narrow and Eliminate Gender Inequality
Posted by WAM NY Marketing Committee
By The World Bank, March 18,2014, as seen on World Bank News
WASHINGTON, March 18, 2014 –Tackling the pervasive inequality faced by women farmers across Africa is critical if the continent is to reduce poverty, boost economic growth and feed its growing population, says a new report published today by the World Bank Group and The ONE Campaign.
“Levelling the Field: Improving Opportunities for Women Farmers in Africa” examines the scale and causes of the dramatic differences between how much men and women farmers produce in six African countries-- Ethiopia, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda-- which together make up more than 40 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population. This first of its type report reveals deep rooted gender gaps in African agriculture, identifies factors holding back women farmers, and sets out concrete actions that policy makers can take to reduce inequality. Closing this gap can help boost household incomes and livelihoods, as well as provide cheap and nutritious food to Africa’s growing population.
“This report presents the clearest evidence to date about the breadth and depth of the gender gap in African agriculture. It argues that by spear-heading proven, effective policies that target the needs of female farmers, such as strengthening land rights, governments can help farming families tackle the low-productivity traps that entrench poverty and prevent millions of farmers from leading decent lives,” said Makhtar Diop, Vice President for the World Bank’s Africa Region.
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WAM NY Marketing Committee.