The Women Farmers’ Leadership Program is led by the Pan African Farmers’ Organisation (a href=”https://www.pafo-africa.org/en/home/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>) and implemented in partnership with the AHA (as an educational institution of the German Farmers’ Association (DBV)), and the German Rural Women’s Association (dlv). The first seminar of the Women Farmers’ Leadership Program began in May 2023. In the capital Kigali, where the headquarters of PAFO are located, the ladies attended the first joint leadership seminar. As part of this, they visited the Rwandan Parliament, where they were received by the Rwandan Parliament’s women’s representative, and visited a collective farm run by women in the north of the country.
In September, the women’s week was organised along similar lines in Hofheim, near Frankfurt. The women from 12 different African countries arrived at Frankfurt Airport in Germany on Sunday 9 September. At the hotel, the African women and the LandFrauen reunited after four long months. It was a warm, long-awaited reunion. The first day of the seminar began the next day. Ms Braunewell, programme participant and also second dlv Vice-President, welcomed all the participants at the beginning of the seminar and introduced the German Rural Women’s Association (dlv). The topics already covered in May were explored in greater depth during the seminar. Organised agriculture in Germany as well as in the different African countries was also discussed in order to achieve a common understanding. On Wednesday, programme participants visited the Haus der Hessischen Landwirtschaft in Friedrichsdorf. There, they were received by the General Secretary of the Hessen Farmers’ Association, Hans-Peter Paulus, and the President of the Hessen Rural Women’s Association, Ursula Pöhlig. The women were given an insight into the structures of both associations and then had the opportunity to put their questions to Mr Paulus and Ms Pöhlig. The women then visited the organically run and Demeter-certified Dottenfelderhof farm. The seminar ended on Friday with another farm visit to the Buchwald farm in Niederrau. At the end of the seminar, they ate together with the farm owners and received their certificate for successful participation. The next day, the ladies returned home.
The first phase came to a successful end. The women from the African countries were delighted to learn more about German organised agriculture and were also able to recognise differences and similarities between the countries and take a number of lessons away with them. All the women were also very excited to be part of this programme and to be sharing their experiences with a variety of women. The aim of the programme is to create a long-term network of women in leadership positions in farmers’ organisations and to strengthen their leadership skills. The programme will also be continued in the coming year too. A selection process will also be used to choose 20 new women, who will then be able to take part in the seminars in Rwanda and Germany, as was this case this year. It was a great experience to be able to work with women from so many different countries. We eagerly await the second phase in 2024!
During the African leaders’ stay in Germany, we had the opportunity to interview some of the women to learn more about them and their work. You can find the interviews below:
Elisabeth Atangana Afanda from Cameroon (70 years of age), former president of ProPAC and PAFO.
“Throughout the Women Farmers’ Leadership Programme, I primarily learned and internalised the methodology of knowledge transfer. This means understanding how to deal with women in order to pass on the knowledge I have. And also to give them an understanding of the qualities of a leader and to show them what a leader is and how they should be.”
Yebas Marie Josée Emmanuelle (28 years of age), Youth Representative of ProPAC from the Republic of Congo.
“I personally had little self-confidence. I always told myself that I sometimes had good ideas, but I was afraid to express them. Now, with this leadership programme, we are shown that every person and opinion is important. Thanks to this programme, I have understood that our position as women in agriculture is important for us to develop and innovate. “
This could be of interest to you:
International Cooperation Read
Invite yourselves! – Farmers’ organisations are making their contribution to transforming food systemsRead
International Cooperation Read