Social impact organisation empowers rural women farmers in Éferené Project (Vanguard Publication)
It’s common knowledge that more than half of the population of sub-Saharan Africa works in the agriculture sector, but most farmers in the region, especially women, still lack access to formal financial services.
Limited access to these services makes it more difficult for farmers in rural communities to take advantage of business opportunities, invest and save for the future, and insure against risks.
To bridge this gap a social impact organization, Tech Herfrica has launched its Éferené Project, which is specifically designed to provide finance to female farmers and traders in rural communities who have successfully completed the various milestones of Tech Herfrica’s EQUIPHER programme.
Speaking with the Director of Strategy and Communications of Tech Herfrica, Esohe Ekunwe, she stated that the Éferené Project has been designed for women who have undergone comprehensive digital financial literacy training in local languages, received internet-enabled smartphones and leveraged e-commerce to gain access to new customers and increase their income by at least 50%.
Hence, the overwhelming demand for their products has led to the need for finances to improve their productivity to meet market demands.
“To support their journey towards increased productivity and income, the Éferené Project, a tailored business finance solution for rural women, has been co-created with Tech Herfrica’s partners.
“Prior to the official rollout, we conducted a pilot phase to gather insights and refine the project’s framework to align with the unique requirements of these remarkable women,” she said.
Since the official launch of the project in June, over 100 women have been given a non-interest loan between N50,000 – N300,000 with a six months repayment plan structured to foster sustainability. Prior to the disbursement, Tech Herfrica partnered with the Rendra Foundation to conduct needs-based financial literacy training for the women.
Esohe further stated that the term Éferené, derived from the Bini language, translates to “Wealth has come.”
“With this project, we renew our unwavering dedication to driving economic prosperity for women and girls in rural areas through strategic digital interventions and innovative financial solutions. Together, we can create a future where women in agriculture and trade thrive, uplifting their communities and fostering sustainable growth,” she said.
In respect of its EquipHer4Growth programme, Esohe also announced Tech Herfrica’s expansion to Kenya and Uganda.
Her words: “We have also held an event for farmers in Kenya and currently at the project initiation phases for a proposed project in Uganda. We hope to finalize ongoing discussions with the target communities so that we can share experiences and replicate our programmes in these countries.”