The History of EWA Initiative

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With the conviction that African women are crucial to agricultural transformation, Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) organized a Conference on ‘the 3F (Food- Fuel-Finance) Crises in Africa: Women at the Forefront’ on 13 -14 December 2011 in Dakar, Senegal.

Also, a meeting on “African Agriculture: From Meeting Needs to Creating Wealth”, fostered by the Mo Ibrahim Forum and held in Tunisia held on 13 November 2011 was also central to the evolving mindset.

Emerging recommendations from these initiatives on viable solutions aimed at placing women at the forefront of change and to work towards the attainment of sustainable socio-economic transformations in Africa were taken forward by member organizations of the Gender Is My Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) at the 19th African Union Pre-Summit Consultative Meeting held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in January 2012.

Theses led to formulation of strategies towards women’s agricultural empowerment in Africa, and formal adoption of the initiative to Empower Women in Agriculture (EWA). EWA was officially launched under the high patronage of H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia on the sidelines of the 19th AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


EWA is thus a home-grown, bottom-up and innovative process of gender-inclusive change on the continent via the Africa’s agricultural transformation agenda – the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP).

Thereafter the partners, including the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), put together an innovative, action-oriented and results-based strategy bringing together public-private partnerships, international organizations and the civil society to address the situation of African women farmers through the EWA.

EWA is currently being championed by present and former African Heads of State (HoS) with renowned service record of promoting women’s empowerment and agriculture, including crucial private sector patrons and key partners from the continent.

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