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Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Support program for African women researchers renewed

African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD), a program that helps women in Sub-Saharan countries to develop leadership and scientific skills, was renewed for five more years. A second grant was announced on 18 October, comprising US$14 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and US$5 million from the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
According to AWARD's spokesperson, Karen Homer, the program sparks more effective innovations in agriculture. "We believe that effective solutions for African agriculture will come through empowered women scientists," she said.
The majority of those who produce, process and market Africa's food are women, but only one in four agricultural researchers is female, according to a 2008 benchmarking study conducted by AWARD.
Homer noted that even fewer women, one in seven, hold leadership positions in African agricultural research institutions. Currently there are few leadership positions available in agriculture and development, and of those that do exist, most are held by men.
Every AWARD fellow attends courses on leadership and management, science skills and proposal writing. They are also twinned with senior scientists as mentors.

 

Source: SciDev Net

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