WAITRO Women Economic Empowerment Workshop
The WAITRO Capacity Development “Shea Butter Development for Women Economic in Africa” was held from October 22 to 26, 2018. WAITRO and the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) organized the five-day workshop, which took place in Abuja, Nigeria.
The production of Shea Butter is an important economic source in Sub-Saharan Africa, however, women in the rural areas lack knowledge on marketing and commercialization, which could considerably improve their quality of life. This motivated the creation of a five-day workshop focused on empowering Nigerian women economically.
Setting the market rather than chasing it
The participants had the opportunity to learn different techniques to improve not only the quality of Shea butter in a sustainable way but also essential strategies to set the market. Some outcomes of this WAITRO Capacity Development were:
- Shea nut butter products can be produced along the supply chain;
- Good manufacturing and hygiene practices can be implemented to reduce waste and increase productivity;
- Guaranteed safe food product manufacturing;
- Shea nut butter producers can prioritize and control potential hazards in the production;
- Producers can have accredited laboratories that demonstrate technical proficiency and are able to produce precise and accurate test and calibration data;
- Recognize competitive products that will have increased market access;
- Economic empowerment through enhanced income;
- Increase employees’ confidence in controlling the system by having a good manufacturing system in place.
Employment creation and poverty reduction
Shea nut butter production is an important source in rural communities of Sub-Saharan Africa. The amazing moisturizing properties of Shea butter have been widely used by global cosmetic companies. The great benefits of this butter are in big demand worldwide, creating a great opportunity for producers. Nonetheless, women living in countries such as Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, and Togo, live with an average of one dollar per day.
Unfair payment is one of the reasons for women’s poverty. Knowing that Shea Butter can provide economic benefits to this population, it is essential to make women aware of how shea butter markets work. This way, it is possible to collaborate to achieve gender equality and empower all women as well as promote sustainable economic growth.