The Liberia Macroeconomic Policy Analysis Center with in the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning has successfully completed three days events for the empowerment of Liberian Women in agriculture and women entrepreneurs.
According to a release from the Ministry of Finance dated 27 September, the training was conducted with support from the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA).
The three – day event included a one-day policy advocacy forum and two days leadership training for women agriculture cooperatives and women entrepreneurs. According to ACBF, the objective of the events is to promote sustainable agriculture in Africa with women at the forefront through the project titled: “Empowerment of Women in Agriculture (EWA).”
The events are piloted in three African countries; Liberia, Rwanda, and Malawi. According to the MFDP release, both the forum and the training spanned three days and were held at the Belle Casa Hotel in Monrovia.
It brought together about 150 participants representing women farmers, leaders of women farmer cooperatives and networks, government, civil society, and research and academic institutions.
Serving as official launcher of the advocacy forum, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor lauded LIMPAC and the ACBF Team for organizing the forum and the two days training for women. She underscored the need for Liberians to prioritize agriculture because there are tremendous gains from agriculture financially and Liberia is well placed given its abundant fertile soil that is under-utilized.
Vice President Taylor also urged Liberian women to encourage their children to get back to the soil so Liberia can be self-sufficient in food-production like Liberia was between 1960 and 1970. For her part, the Deputy Minister for Budget and Development, Mrs. Tanneh Brunson, on behalf of Minister Samuel D. Tweah, Jr. thanked the ACBF for the continued support to Liberia’s capacity building initiatives.
She recounted the ACBF’s recent support in establishing and operationalizing an econometric forecasting and training laboratory within the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.She praised Liberian business women as being dynamic and more likely to be self-employed than men. According to the release, Deputy Minister Brunson named some challenges faced by women as limited financial infrastructure, restricted access to market, insufficient network to support women entrepreneurs, wide gender-gap, high gender segregation, poor access to credit for women, vulnerability to gender-based violence, and lack of general representation of women businesses in wide business network like the Liberia Chamber of Commerce.
She proffered recommendations including a comprehensive and sensitive skill enhancement program for women entrepreneurship, flexible business and skills training program, mechanism for easy access to finance by women, integrated financial literacy training programs, among others. Press release