The Tony Elumelu Foundation has pledged to assist female farmers in Nigeria, particularly those in rural areas.
Somachi Chris-Asokula, TEF’s Director of Partnerships and Communications, stated this at a private sector meeting in Lagos on Wednesday organised by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in collaboration with the Nigerian Red Cross Society.
Chris-Asokula stated that the foundation would collaborate with the SheFarmers Initiative to accomplish this, and that education was not a prerequisite for accessing TEF funding, but rather ideas, particularly ideas that address TEF’s priority of sustainable development goals.
She added that entrepreneurship is the most sustainable way to transform the continent and that the TEF is always looking for new ways to assist young Africans in being the change the Africa needs.
In addition to Nigerians, the foundation is already in discussions with the Namibian government to assist young Namibians in obtaining funding.
In her words, “35% of TEF beneficiaries are from rural areas, but our goal is to achieve 40%. Also 48-50% of beneficiaries are women and we would be very interested in partnering with SheFarmers Initiative to reach much more rural women with access to funding.
“Entrepreneurship is the most sustainable way to transform the continent and it is the answer to what Africans are currently facing.
“We at the TEF have empowered 1.2m young Africans across all 54 countries on the continent and we are looking for ways to do more.” She added.
Temitope Ande, President of the SheFarmers Initiative, praised TEF and the IFRC for their roles in empowering and alleviating poverty among young Nigerians, particularly women.
She, on the other hand, stated that there was a gap between rural and urban women that needed to be bridged.
She said, “The disconnect between women in rural areas and women in urban areas is really huge and for us to achieve all we have addressed here today, as regards climate change, access to funding, enlightenment at the grassroots, we will need to close that gap.
Other notable stakeholders in attendance include: Abubakar Kende, Secretary General, NCRS; Bhupinder Tomar, Head of Delegation, IFRC, Abuja Country Cluster Delegation; and Lolita Ejiofor, General Manager, Abbey Mortgage Bank.