From Field to Parliament: Tailored agricultural vocational training solutions for women in Africa

‘Planet 50/50’ is the United Nations’ professed goal until 2030. On the occasion of this year’s International Women’s Day on March 8, GIZ put the spotlight onto the world of employment and the largest area of employment of women: the agricultural sector. After all, access to markets, funding, ownership and control over land, and even basic professional education is still disproportionally more difficult to achieve for women than it is for men.

ATVET programme: vocational training for women in Africa

At the European Parliament, Ousmane Djibo, one of GIZ’s senior experts in the fields of agricultural and food policies and current head of the corresponding sector project, provided detailed insight into his experiences, as well as the challenges and chances regarding yield-increasing qualifications for women. The main focus was on agricultural technical vocational education and training (ATVET) activities in several African countries being commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Within this framework, the new ATVET for women programme was specifically designed to provide women with technical and vocational training, taking their actual necessities and living conditions into account.

Increasing societies' prosperity by increasing income for women

The event as part of the 'From Field to Parliament' series was organised together with MEP Linda McAvan of the S&D Group and well-attended. The topic initiated a lively debate, for example on one of Brussels’ currently intensely discussed topics, the role of the private sector. In fact, ATVET-programmes are developed and implemented based on the private sector’s demands. This approach can guarantee sustainability and foster the empowerment of women along the value chains. Increased income of women was furthermore pointed out to be the key to increase societies’ prosperity: When women earn more, their entire families benefit from it.

According to Ousmane Djibo, ATVET and ATVET for women are highly relevant programmes with the ability to contribute to women’s and youth employment in many countries. What is needed, however, is a supportive political environment. In his opinion, the current Africa-focus of the German G20-presidency is an opportunity: States could be supported in their efforts to create their own respective systems of dual vocational education and training. This is meant to be an essential aspect of further development, especially taking under consideration the high numbers of young people striving towards the job market. Only if women and men alike are able to partake, this development will be possible.

The event was part of GIZ´s 'From Field to Parliament' event series in Brussels. It focusses on the exchange of experienced GIZ practitioners with policy makers, especially accredited parliamentary assistants and EP staff, on current topics in international development.

                                                        
The event put the focus on the empowerment and training of women in agriculture. Photos: GIZ
                                                        
Ousmane Djibo, one of GIZ’s senior experts in the fields of agricultural and food policies.
                                                        
Ousmane Djibo provided detailed insight into his experiences.
                                                        
Policy makers were invited to a lively discussion.