The African rural world is one I know well. I grew out of rural poverty myself and went to a rural school without electricity and lived in a village where we had to walk for kilometers to find water. We had to study after dark with candles or kerosene lanterns. By God’s grace, I made it out of poverty to where I am today. But for tens of millions of those in similar situations, especially in rural Africa, the outcomes are not like mine. For most, the potential has simply been wasted.
Africa, like India, is a continent of rich and compelling diversity. Both continents share a similar landscape, a shared colonial history, and similar economic and demographic challenges. This helps both India and Africa work especially well with each other.
No region of the world has ever moved to industrialised economy status without a transformation of the agricultural sector. Agriculture, which contributes 16.2% of the GDP of Africa, and gives some form of employment to over 60% of the population, holds the key to accelerated growth, diversification and job creation for African economies.
International Women's Day (IWD) is an important opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women and to be bold in promoting gender parity.