Forty thousand farmers in Kenya for instance are to share in a Sh264 million Walmart Foundation grant with Rwanda and Zambia.
Through the One Acre Fund non-profit, the farmers are to receive high quality seed, fertiliser, credit and post harvest support, “allowing them to fully and fairly compete in the rural agricultural value chain,” Maggie Sans, Walmart Vice President of International Corporate Affairs announced on Wednesday.
Support which she said would double the farm incomes of the farmers, in a single planting season.
“Walmart, through its Global Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative, has committed to train one million farmers, half of which will be women, by the end of 2016,” Sans explained.
And in pursuit of which, 80,000 of the 135,000 farmers set to benefit from the grant in Kenya, Rwanda and Zambia are women.
Following the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington DC, 600,000 Kenyan and Nigerian women are also set to benefit from a collaboration between Intel and USAID over the next three years.
The collaboration, the Women and Web Alliance, seeks to, “bring these women online,” through digital literacy training and social networks which would in turn open up new markets to them through the internet.
The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), in partnership with the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) also announced that it would be spending Sh17.6 in ten African countries over the next two years in an effort to provide Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) to 300,000 children on the continent.
“ Last year 3.2 million children under the age of 15 were living with HIV/AIDS globally. 91 percent of whom were in Sub-Saharan Africa and yet only 24 percent of these were receiving life saving ART,” Deputy Secretary for management and resources Heather Higginbottom relayed.
It is unclear whether Kenya is among the 10 African countries targeted by PEPFAR, accused of scaling back its efforts investment in the country.
The initiatives were unveiled on Wednesday during a Summit hosted by US First Lady Michelle Obama for African First Ladies whose spouses were participating in the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington DC.
The spouses’ summit which focused on health and education needs of women on the African continent was co-hosted by former First Lady Laura Bush and President George W. Bush.
“I note that this is called the first spouses event, not the first ladies event,” he joked in his opening address.