NEPAD/Spanish Fund -Investmenting in Infrastructures and Equipments
A total of 29 of the NEPAD Spanish Fund for African Women Empowerment projects invested in infrastructure and equipment to facilitate the economic empowerment of women on the continent and more than 52,000 women directly benefitted from these initiatives. The investments in infrastructure and equipment have had a substantial effect on the female beneficiaries by reducing the time they dedicate to labour-intensive tasks such as water collection and the processing of agricultural produce, which are often the preserve of women due to socio-patriarchal norms.
Examples of investments in infrastructure and equipment undertaken by the NEPAD Spanish Fund for African Women Empowerment include, inter alia: the construction of a farm house; the sinking of wells and irrigation systems for farming; the construction of livestock pens and poultry sheds; the construction of two youth hostels for girls attending vocational schools; the purchase and installation of agro-processing equipment; the establishment of seed banks; the provision of mechanical and manual farming equipment; the construction of storage facilities for agricultural output; the establishment of indigenous and plant nurseries; the construction of six safe houses for GBV victims; the building of a referral family counselling centre and a counselling centre for GBV victims; investments in vehicles; the construction of a bakery, reprography studio and a refrigeration network; the repair and refurbishment of an operating theatre and the provision of specialist equipment to treat obstetric fistula; the creation of a biotechnology unit for vaccine production; the provision of ICT equipment; the purchase of machinery for the production of goods and services; the construction of shops and markets to facilitate the sale of women’s agricultural produce and the installation of generators. Such projects, particularly when targeted at women, are able to improve both their standard of living and reduce the overall gender inequality on the continent. Furthermore, research indicates that control over productive assets – such as land and machinery – increases women’s bargaining power within their households, which contributes to empowering women in their daily lives.