WFTO-Africa Activities Swazi Hands 


: A resource for members

: Growing and monitoring Fair Trade

: Building Capacity

: Market Access

: Lobbying & Advocay



WIEGO RESOURCES: Leadership & Business Skills for Women Fair Trade Producers

WFTO Africa & ME has the pleasure to share with you a series of training manuals aims to improve the financial independence and capacities of women involved in fair trade activities.

The development of these materials was an outcome of Leadership & Business Skills for Women Fair Trade Producers under WIEGO Global Trade Programme, in partnership with fair trade organizations in Africa. Specifically, it developed out of the trainings done in Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda. Both the project and production of these manuals received support from Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women (FLOW), Government of the Netherlands, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The thinking behind this initiative was the recognition that strong business skills help women run productive enterprises and earn much-needed income. Information on markets and buyers lets them create the right products and sell them at a fair price. And leadership skills allow women to form effective self-help groups and achieve equality in their member associations. Together, these skills can dramatically improve the livelihoods of poor women producers.

Between 2013 and 2015, thousands of informal women workers gained skills through their fair trade organizations in Ghana (cocoa farmers), Kenya (handicraft producers), and Uganda (coffee farmers and handicraft producers). To maximize the number of women who gained the skills to succeed, the project relied on a cascading approach to training. Knowledge and skill spread from country-level networks to fair trade groups and individual members, then to grassroots groups. This created a sustainable base beyond the life of the project.

The training materials are a living testimony of a process that combined the learning and best practices from the three project countries. It consists of seven modules focused on women’s leadership, governance and business skills. Anchored on bottom-up approach that utilizes local expertise and a participatory process, the training materials is a hallmark of innovation and creativity that speaks to informal women workers, particularly in Africa, but can be applied in other contexts outside the region as well. The series goes through the steps of leadership development; cooperative and independent financing; and the broadening business skills such as product consistency and pricing. You are welcome to download and use these training modules for your training activities, and remember to acknowledge the source. Download from the following links.


MODULE 1: Understanding Gender & Employment Relations

MODULE 2: Understanding Women's Economic and Social Contribution

MODULE 3: Promoting Democratic Participation and Accountability

MODULE 4: Enhancing Financial and Business Management Skills

MODULE 5: Understanding the Market

MODULE 6: Quality Management Systems

MODULE 7: Improving Innovation & Production Techniques

The Secretariat of WFTO Africa & Middle East - a region that includes all the countries in Africa, the Middle East, Madagascar and Mauritius - is based in Nairobi, Kenya. It is responsible for the planning, coordination and execution of the services, projects and programmes being implemented by the network.

The services, projects and programmes are all aimed to:

:|: Provide an avenue for GREATER PARTICIPATION, DIALOGUE, COMMUNICATION AND SHARING of our experiences as members and Fair Trade Producer organizations.

Interventions include periodic dialogue, sharing of experiences, business-to-business forums, enabling participation at regional and global conferences and trade fairs.

:|: GREATER APPRECIATION FOR THE CONCEPT OF FAIR TRADE, understanding and compliance with the principles of World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) among the members and growing the awareness of Fair Trade in the region.

In addition to awareness creation, WFTO Africa & Middle East also works closely with the membership to ensure that they maintain compliance to Fair Trade Principles and Standard. Such engagement include coaching, technical support, role modeling etc.

:|: ENHANCE THE CAPACITY of the members to transform their businesses into SUSTAINABLE, AND COMPETITIVE ENTERPRISES in the global market.

CAPACITY BUILDING program that provides Business Skills Training and Product Development workshops to members to assist them to improve their business. Africa has great potential and resources for craft and food products production. However, many producers lack capacity to produce quality products and professionally engage in competitive global markets. WFTO Africa & Middle East is working to develop a stronger program that will provide more specialized training based on needs assessments.

WFTO Africa & Middle East's market access function is carried out through gathering, packaging and dissemination of market and trend information, product development and design, participation in local, regional and international market fairs and facilitating buyer visits.

WFTO Africa & Middle East works through workshops and seminars, joint delegations to concerned parties, alliances with other regional chapters of WFTO, like-minded partner organisations and the media to provide a voice for producers to challenge policies and practices that reinforce trade injustices.

WFTO Africa & Middle East actively works to continually improve the region's contribution to the global fair trading conversation - both inside the global structures of WFTO - and in the broader interface with our partner organisations.

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