The Swedish Embassy in Zimbabwe in partnership with an international development cooperation, We Effect today signed a US$3,6 million agreement that will go towards improving household income of more 67 000 rural women and young entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe under the Green Enterprise and Business Development Programme (EBDP) program set to run from 2018 to 2021.
The Green EBDP project aims for improved sustainable livelihoods and food security for rural women and young people and is expected to result in a doubling of the household income for 67 500 rural women as well as increasing the annual income for men and young entrepreneurs from US$3425 to US$6850.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Sofia Calltorp said the new support will build on the solid foundation of the successes of the previous programmes of We Effect supported by Sweden.
“Through these programmes more than 60 000 rural people, mainly women, were mobilized to participate in internal savings and income generating activities through development of both agriculture and non agriculture enterprises. This resulted in increased household income generation and improvement of livelihoods for those beneficiaries and their families,
“More specifically the programme will contribute to the part of the strategy that looks at improved opportunities for sustainable livelihoods, with a focus on sustainable food security, productive employment with decent working conditions, especially for women and young people,” said Calltorp.
She added that they are happy to be able to spread the Swedish development footprint to 67 500 beneficiaries from the chosen 9 deserving districts of Zimbabwe.
Speaking at the same ceremony, We Effect Southern Africa Regional Director, Maria Schultz said the signed agreement will allow them to take business development for rural women and young people to another level.
“With this signed agreement we will be able to take enterprise development especially for rural women and youth to a new level,
“We Effect will together with partners also identify promising green entrepreneurs and help boost their enterprises in line with green business development practices in sectors such as renewable energy, rural housing, general trading and services,
“The project will also see the formation of Internal savings and loans (ISALs) clubs, registration of Savings and Credit Cooperative Organisations (SACCOs) and the establishment of a Green investment fund all aimed at enabling access to affordable finance by the project beneficiaries,” explained Schultz.
Expected outcome results are productive and decent work for rural women and youth through on and off farm green enterprise development, targeted areas of agriculture will include livestock, grain, horticulture, oilseeds, tubers, apiculture, aquaculture and forestry.