Developing Green Livelihoods for Women and Youth in Africa: Strengthening Food Security, Supporting Climate Resilient Economies
This programme is made possible by the support of the Government and People of Japan.
Africa is a continent with a wide range of climates ranging from tropical rainforests to arid deserts.
As climate change accelerates and poses a significant barrier to Africa's achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the continent’s vulnerability is increasing. The increased exposure to the effects of climate change leaves Africa and its people faced with heightened risks of droughts, extreme weather events and increased water and food insecurity.
These challenges have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, which have raised fuel and food prices, unemployment, financial instability, and hyperinflation in some countries. These crises have magnified existing vulnerabilities in Africa, and the consequences are expected to be deep and long-lasting for the economy, society, peace and stability in the region.
For Africa’s voice on global climate forums to be strengthened, Africa needs to work towards meeting its Paris Agreement commitments to take collective climate action to halve global emissions and pursue efforts to keep the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
As such, to meet these commitments many African countries must obtain appropriate financial, capacity building and technical support. Africa should also prioritise development goals that align and capitalize on the promise of green growth for job creation, youth development, and gender equality. This can be crucial as climate change provides market opportunities for the continent to harness its huge resource potential to achieve Sustainable Development Goal targets.
To this end, this programme aims to empower and skill women and youth in Africa to combine traditional knowledge and digital skills to respond to and reduce their vulnerability and to create inclusive, environmentally responsible, and viable employment and livelihood opportunities that contribute to climate mitigation and adaptation and, ultimately, promote an equitable, peaceful and sustainable future.
At the end of the programme, the participants will be able to:
Phase I: September to December 2023
- Outline recent climate trends in Africa and their impact on agribusiness and livelihoods
- Design strategies to pursue climate-resilient business opportunities and livelihoods
- Evaluate national and local outlooks for livelihoods and MSMEs in the context of climate change and national development plans
- Outline existing opportunities and challenges and the role of digital technologies in key economic sectors including agriculture
Phase II: December 2023 to January 2024
- Identify business opportunities responding to extreme weather events and biological hazards (such as COVID-19) based on the local context and conditions
- Formulate a business model that integrates identified opportunities and digital technologies
- Understand the adaptation strategies in relation to Climate change, Health, Food systems and security.
- Access to expert mentorship and networking opportunities.
Phase III: February 2024
- Apply effective MSME practices to dynamic entrepreneurial contexts
- Communicate effectively with stakeholders, support groups and potential partners
- Design strategies and green business models that are locally led and respond to community needs and gender concepts.
The modules will cover the development of hard and soft skills tailored to the specific needs of the participants and the industry. The following are the broad thematic areas to be covered (subject to change based on the needs of the selected participants):
- Climate change – Adaptation and Mitigation fundamentals
- Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment
- Nurturing an entrepreneurial mindset, finding a problem worth solving
- Building scalable and sustainable climate-resilient livelihood
- Financial Literacy e.g climate finance
- Analytical thinking, creativity and innovation
- Incorporating environmental and social behaviour change in SMEs
- Ideating climate-resilient agribusiness opportunities
- Training of trainers
- Training for coaches
- Leadership and ecosystem building
The programme is divided into 3 phases with participants incrementally advancing to the next phases.
Phase I – Online Training (September to December 2023)
- Participants will complete self-paced asynchronous e-modules on a digital learning platform, augmented by webinars and online coaching and mentoring support.
Phase II – Self-led Projects and Virtual Boot Camp/Application (December 2023 to January 2024)
- The participants will be selected from phase I based on their performance including their assignments and presentations. Self-led projects and virtual boot camps will allow participants to apply their skills and knowledge in addressing a development challenge or livelihood opportunity.
Phase III – Sustainability and Community Leadership Training (February 2024)
- Participants who reach phase III will have access to additional training on community-building and leadership skills and create a strong network of trainers for future cohorts.
An online platform will be set up to facilitate information-sharing and connect stakeholders, the African diaspora, and ecosystem players to promote innovation at country, regional and global levels.
The Programme will be delivered in English.
The programme will prioritize participants from Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
In particular, we are looking for women and youth who:
- are keen to learn by doing, with passion for development and information technologies.
- are between 18 and 35 years old, however women of all ages, including those over 35, are encouraged to apply, as their unique experiences and skills are valued.
- have good oral and written English communication skills.
- are computer literate and have access to a laptop/internet.
- have an understanding of the primary climate change at your country level.
- want to acquire business tools to build a green business.
- are passionate to succeed and make a positive impact on their communities.
- are committed to completing the Programme.
- can provide a recommendation letter from an individual with verifiable credentials.
- are (preferably) university graduate.
A certificate of completion will be issued by UNITAR to all participants who complete the course-related assignments and assessments successfully.
Recommended hardware and software requirements for taking our e-learning courses:
- Operating System: Windows 10 or MacOS version 11 and later
- Software: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Powerpoint and Adobe Acrobat Reader (downloadable for free at adobe.com).
- Browser: Latest version of Microsoft Edge or Safari or Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox (downloadable for free).
- Internet connection: Stable LAN or Wifi Internet connection