Obama’s Call to Support African Business

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Sultan and his beehives.

President Barack Obama spoke to 50 African leaders at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum in Washington D.C. this week (Aug. 4-6), to promote Africa’s economic growth in business and foreign investment. President Obama rallied support for Africa’s upcoming generation in creating business opportunities.

This is something Food for the Hungry (FH) has done for the last 30 years to help Africans create sustainable solutions for their families and villages. FH works to equip small business owners in the African countries of Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Mozambique, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In Kenya, FH worked with pastoralists to broaden the sale of livestock across eight markets, which brought in a total of $2.2 million in sales during the country’s 2011 food crisis. Through training and expanding markets, FH staff are equipping Kenyans to run their own agricultural businesses to sustain them through droughts and other challenges.

In Ethiopia, FH staff train unskilled farmers, like Sultan Hassen, on how to start a small business to earn income, such as harvesting honey. FH staff also helped to expand local markets for selling agricultural products and livestock.

“I had no special skills with any kind of handcrafts,” said Sultan. “Poverty crept into our house and eating once a day became rare. I could not tolerate the starvation and poverty any longer with a wife and three children. Finally, I asked my wife to divorce me and go to her parents at least to feed herself and the children, but she refused.”

After receiving training in raising bees and harvesting honey from FH, Sultan earned $2,182 in one year, going from 62 cents a day to $6. He has also expanded his farm to include a pair of oxen, seven modern beehives, two milking cows and three donkeys. He’s expanded his farm to plant crops and now has 6,600 pounds of maize for sale.

These are two examples of the kind of work Food for the Hungry is doing throughout Africa to empower Africans to start and grow small agricultural businesses with partners like you.

About Renee Targos

Renee is a former journalist and editor for national arts and business publications. As a writer for Food for the Hungry, Renee explores and reports on the work and relationships of partners, FH staff and impoverished communities.

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