USAID Graduates More than 100 Women Trained in Entrepreneurship and Leadership

Man speaking at podium. (Embassy Image)The training targeted high-potential women leaders in livestock businesses 

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, February 28, 2015 – The U.S. Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), held a graduation ceremony today for 107 women trained on women entrepreneurship and leadership in livestock businesses from the Amhara, Oromia, SNNP, and Tigray regions. Focusing on technical, business and leadership skills, the training will assist the graduates to become successful business operators as well as mentors to other women in their communities. USAID supported the five-month training under its Agricultural Growth Program-Livestock Market Development activity.

In many parts of Ethiopia, women are responsible for the production of livestock, such as fattening and breeding. Women are also extensively involved in feeding animals, milking dairy cattle, cleaning barns, processing milk and selling livestock products. However, the lack of involvement in value-added activities limits women from fully contributing to developing the country’s livestock sector.

USAID supports the Government of Ethiopia to improve livestock business results by addressing gender differences in productivity, profitability, participation and leadership. As a result of their training, today’s graduates are now the role models who are expected not only to become successful business women, but also influential mentors for other women in their communities.

Addressing the women graduates, USAID representative Gary Robbins said, “You are now serving as mentors to other women, demonstrating the practical skills you obtained over the past six months. Challenging the status quo, you are truly role models of women leadership in agriculture and I applaud you.”

Under the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative, USAID improves the productivity and competitiveness of the livestock value chains by identifying women, who are or have the potential to become livestock entrepreneurs and role models and by providing training as well as coaching. Today’s 107 graduates bring the total number of women trained in entrepreneurship and leadership to 211.