Gambia: Finance Action for Women, Partners Commence Women Empowerment On Agri-Food Value Chain

14 March 2023

Finance Action Women (FAW) has in partnership with Migration and Sustainable Development in The Gambia (MSDG) on 13th March, 2023 commence a training for 90 women on agricultural marketing for rural women.

The training, which will last for six days - 13th to 18th March 2023, is part of the MSDG Diaspora Fellow Award - a Fellowship Grant from the GKP-MSDG Diaspora Development Fund (DDF), for FAW to implement a project titled: Creating Market Linkages For Rural Women In The Agricultural Sector for 90 women in West Coast Region (WCR), Lower River Region (LRR) and Upper River Region (URR).

The Fellowship Grant is awarded to Dr Aminata Sillah, an Impact Entrepreneur and Investor. The fellowship grant is for rural women - to promote and create market linkages for women and build their capacities thus focusing on the agricultural value chain to increase and optimize their return on their respective agricultural activities through value addition and access to high end markets.

Dr Amina Sillah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of FAW, said FAW aims to ensure that disenfranchised women (our borrowers) have access to credit and training. Through research, we have concluded these barriers to their growth and sustainability of their ventures, stated Dr Sillah, adding that their (women) exclusion from finance can be traced to the patriarchal nature of The Gambia where financial institutions often want male guarantors for loans, high illiteracy rate, access to transportation to get to financial institutions and lack of support from spouses.

She adds: "It is the goal of FAW to breakdown these barriers by providing women with the necessary tools to create a credible history of sound financial management that will make her bankable."

Mamadou Edrisa Njie, the general manager of FAW, said the project is to upgrade and upscale women in the selected communities in processing technique knowledge, thus helping them package and label their products to meet standards and most importantly hygiene.

For her part, Ida LB Ceesay, the secretary general of FAW, stated that the training of women in rural areas is timely, adding that the end result is that their communities will also improve as these women will increase their economic opportunities for their households, increase local development through employment, and create community wealth.

About FAW:

FAW has been established as a loan scheme to provide capital, training and support services to rural women in The Gambia to allow them to engage in income generating activities that will improve their lives.

About the DDF:

The Diaspora Development Fund (DDF) is part of the 'Migration and Sustainable Development in The Gambia project (MSDG), initiated by GK Partners in 2017. MSDG is a diaspora led Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP), co-financed by GK Partners and the Government of Switzerland, and implemented in partnership with the Government of The Gambia.

In 2022/23, MSDG awarded DDF grants of Ꞓ5,000 (Euros) each to 55 diaspora development practitioners, totaling Ꞓ275,000 (Euros), equivalent to 16.5 million Dalasis.

The Diaspora Development Fund was piloted in 2020/21 whereby total grants of Ꞓ74,890 (Euros) were awarded to 10 MSDG Fellows. The Fellows used the funds to leverage and generate a further Ꞓ710,280 (Euros). As a result, the pilot DDF contributed Ꞓ785,170 (Euros), equivalent to D50 million (Dalasis) to Gambian socioeconomic development.

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