The Mastercard Foundation today announced the opening of an Expression of Interest (EOI) process to collaborate with prospective partners in bridging access to inclusive financial services for the agriculture and agric-adjacent sectors, to unlock work opportunities for young Ghanaian women and men.
Through the EOI process, the Foundation is seeking partnerships with organizations in four key areas, which are central to the delivery of its Young Africa Works strategy in Ghana, namely:
- Access to capital – To develop and implement innovative financial solutions for smallholder farmers, women-owned and youth-led agribusinesses, and to build the resilience of at risk and vulnerable people in the agriculture and adjacent value chains, including rural women;
- Technical assistance and capacity building – through the implementation of structured interventions, including business education, mentorship, and role modelling, build the capacity of young women and men in the sector. Focus areas to include financial literacy, access to finance, digital literacy, among others. The intervention will also seek to strengthen local cooperative groups to support women and youth;
- Access to market – through the development of structured systems, disseminate information about prices and market opportunities, and create virtual and physical marketplaces where producers and off takers can connect; and
- Ecosystem development – to increase access to financial services so low-income individuals, households, and small businesses can access and use appropriate financial services.
Interested organizations are required to submit an Expression of Interest that explains how they will respond to one or more of the intervention areas and the role they can play, collaborating with other implementing partners and stakeholders, to achieve desired outcomes and the delivery of the Young Africa Works strategy in Ghana.
Agriculture contributes to more than one-fifth of Ghana’s GDP (Gross Domestic Products) and over 30 percent of total foreign export earnings.
The sector employs almost 54 percent of households and is the main source of livelihood for the majority of the country’s poorest households.
Youth aged 15-35 years make up almost 30 percent of persons engaged in the agriculture sector.
The Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy in Ghana seeks to enable three million young Ghanaian women and men to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030 by deepening efforts and investment in the agriculture and adjacent sectors using a value chain and market system development approach.
The selected partners will work with the Foundation, through a co-creation process, to design interventions that create dignified work opportunities for young women and men in the sector.
Prospective partners can find additional information in the Expression of Interest.
The Foundation seeks partnerships with organizations that:
- Share the Foundation’s vision of a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper;
- Are aligned with the Foundation’s values: humility, listening, kindness and respect, co-creation, and impact; and
- Demonstrate a past and present commitment to safeguarding, diversity, and inclusion, through policies, programs, and practices.
Preference will be given to aggregators that are local organizations or those that can build capacity, transfer knowledge, and transition program management to local organizations over the course of the program.
This aligns with the Foundation’s objective of institutional strengthening for a broad range of local actors, eventually contributing to the goal of primarily working with African-based organizations.