The Graça Machel Trust works through women’s and children’s rights programmes, within these programmes, collaborating with country based networks, activities are implemented through individual projects.
The Mara Region was declared a priority area for the development of a unified intervention to address the needs of out of school children.
Our Founder challenged the Mara community to form an alliance to undertake a more coordinated approach to tackle education challenges and child marriage in the region.
Following intense preparation between the Trust, the Mara Alliance, local partners joined hands to start of the Out of School Children (OOSC) Project in partnership with Educate A Child (EAC) to enrol and retain 20,000 children in the region back into the country’s education system over a two-year period.
The African Women in Agribusiness Network (AWAB) aims to propel women’s agricultural activities beyond subsistence farming and into viable businesses that participate equitably in the agricultural value chain. The Food Basket Project offers an innovative, sustainable and home-grown solution to resolve a number of agribusiness challenges, particularly, one of Africa’s most pressing, quality seed production.
The model is to be rolled out in three phases; the pre-production phase which
deals with inputs, particularly, the development of sustainable seed; the production phase which focuses on mechanisation; as well as the post production phase, that addresses marketing and access to markets.
Building entrepreneur capacity and growing businesses
Challenges faced by women entrepreneurs negatively impact their capability and capacity to grow their businesses, leading to them not being able to realise their full potential and become meaningful contributors of job creation and Africa’s socio-economic development.
Women Creating Wealth is an holistic one-year programme focused on key strategies such as; detecting business opportunities and planning for sustainable growth; improving efficiency and quality of their service offering and improving decision making by utilising multiple sources of information within their business operations and broader environment. The programme is being jointly offered in partnership with the United Nations Convention for Development’s (UNCTAD) Empretec initiative. Offered in Zambia, Tanzania and Malawi.
Access to market is just one of the burning challenges of businesswomen’s associations in addressing the situation that women-owned businesses often find themselves in – small and micro with very little potential to grow. Linked to this are associated factors such as access to information, finance and skills.
In 2016 the Graça Machel Trust (GMT) piloted a regional entrepreneurship development programme. The Zambia Federation of Associations of Women in Business (ZFAWIB) chose to build on existing cluster work in the construction, agriculture and textile sectors. These sectors were deliberately picked based on existing market opportunities as follows. In the agricultural sector, opportunities were identified through the cassava farming through the provision of cassava starch to mining companies and cassava flour to the paper packaging industry.