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The control of production resources and land ownership is embedded in the patriarchal norms and values of African culture assigns men more power over household resource allocation. However,  In Tanzania, women play a significant role in economic production, particularly in agriculture, and their pivotal position in household management and welfare is central to economic development and social survival. 70% to 80% of the agricultural labour force in Tanzania are women, taking full responsibility in the planting and harvesting of crops. 

To most women in Tanzania, having their own businesses means having financial independence since women tend to face greater structural barriers, such as inheritance norms and gender bias in the provision of land, information and financial access.

Our EAYIP Programme (East Africa Youth Inclusion Programme) in partnership with Heifer International and MasterCard Foundation aims to improve the livelihoods of youth through the creation of jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities for 25,000 economically disadvantaged young men and women (ages 15-24) in Uganda and Tanzania. The Programme Equips Youth with necessary entrepreneurship skills to establish businesses around the hub or even seek employment in agriculture-related business. It also facilitates access to finance for young entrepreneurs to start or expand their businesses. 

25-year-old mother Faraja is a farmer from Kisada Village, Iringa Tanzania. In 2018 she joined one of our Youth Entrepreneurship Networks called Umoja Kwanza under our East African Youth Inclusion Programme. 

The Programme trained young people in different business and agricultural skills. As well as participating in the groups business of poultry farming, Faraja used the skills she gained from the training to start her own farming business and began cultivating wheat and beans.

“The agriculture and Entrepreneurship skills I got from Restless Development such as record keeping, saving, financial planning and how to generate business ideas has helped me solve so many challenges I encountered in my farming business.” 

Faraja was able to double her harvests to 140kg of wheat and 60 kg of beans.

She used her extra income to buy enough land to build her own house for her family and extend her farm to double the harvest again next year! 

“I am now able to take good care of my child and can afford all of her expenses and mine. Most importantly we have food security, my family don’t have to worry about food since we can save some of the harvests for our own use at home”

“There is nothing like living your dream”-Faraja 

Leniki is 27-year-old and has a strong passion for cookery. She has always dreamt of becoming a successful businesswoman. After joining one of our Entrepreneurship youth network in Iringa, our East Africa Youth Inclusion Programme (EAYIP), she was able to turn her passion into a business. 

Through our EAYIP Programme Leniki was taken to Njombe to pursue a Course in Cookery and Hotel Management for 3 months.

“I was so happy to pursue a Course in Cookery and Hotel Management. I have now opened my own restaurant where I bake cakes and cook different types of foods.”

Apart from owning a restaurant, Lenik also uses the agricultural skills she gained from the network in poultry farming. 

Here’s to hardworking women like Leniki and Faraja.

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