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PRESENTATION: A data-driven approach to bridging the gender gap in financial inclusion among women smallholders in Africa.


Please find the presentation for the A data-driven approach to bridging the gender gap in financial inclusion among women smallholders in Africa webinar on 22 September 2021.


A data-driven approach to bridging the gender gap in financial inclusion among women smallholders in Africa.

Webinar: Wednesday 22 September 2021

11am-12.30pm GMT, 12-1.30pm WAT, 1-2.30pm CAT and 2-3.30pm EAT

Nearly half the smallholder farmers in Africa are women, but they are significantly under-represented in the adoption of insurance services and knowledge-sharing for improved farm practices

UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), ESA Working Paper No. 11-07

Smallholder farmers in Africa, of which 43% are estimated to be women, tend to obtain much lower farm yields and have limited choices and knowledge on microinsurance products and services. These can help cushion against different shocks such as the destruction of crops by pests and diseases, failure of seeds to germinate and natural disasters such as droughts and floods.

Uptake of digital technology and communication is growing rapidly across Africa and forward-thinking fintechs such as Pula Advisors are pioneering models to overcome barriers among farmers to benefitting from financial services, such as insurance and credit, as well as digital agronomy services, advice and training.

Gender inclusion can take many forms which can help address social, economic, cultural and educational challenges women are facing. For women smallholder farmers in Africa, the gap in their ability to earn, protect and grow income is dependent on the capacities their have to improve the production and protection of their crops.

  • Risk mitigation and improved farming practices could have a lasting positive impact on agricultural yields of women smallholder farmers and contribute to their long-term economic resilience to increasing natural and economic shocks, but what needs to be understood and considered to ensure that such financial products and knowledge meet their needs?
  • Digital technology and communication are being widely used across Africa, but how can they be used to leapfrog these challenges facing this group of women?
  • Essentially, what are the key factors that need to be understood and applied to create the most gender-transformative insurance and agronomy digital products for African women smallholder farmers?

In January 2021, the African Development Bank, the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI) and Pula Advisors, signed the agreement for a USD 1 million initiative to support women smallholder farmers to develop greater resilience and improve crop production in Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia.

This initiative supports the scaling of existing technology that Pula has tested, as well as the development of new technology innovations tailored to women’s needs. The project, currently at its initial stage, will leverage extensive data that Pula has, including that from satellite technology combined with market insights and direct interactions with women. ADFI and Pula will work on gathering the insights emerging from the above workstreams to then share as valuable learning for scaling digital financial solutions for farmers in Africa and women smallholder farmers in particular.

This webinar provided the opportunity to hear from experts an outline of the most critical endemic barriers to greater inclusion for women smallholder farmers and the evidence-based approach to design solutions to unlock barriers and bridge the gender gap.


Facilitator: Khalila Salim, ADFI will welcome participants and speakers and moderate the Q&A session

Welcome and introduction

Introduction to the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI) – Khalila Salim

Bridging the gender gap in Africa with inclusive digital financial inclusionFiona Hoffman-Harland, Shell Foundation

Impact of inclusive financial services on agricultural development among women smallholder farmers in Africa – Cecil Nartey, AfDB

Presentation of Pula's approach and project – Nabil Janmohamed, Timothy Kiprotich, Elizabeth Thinwa – Pula Advisors


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