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BNP Paribas joins the Generation Equality Forum and continues the Agrifed programme initiated with HeForShe

In 2018, the Group joined forces with UN Women, with the support of its subsidiary BICIS, in the Agrifed programme, which aims to strengthen food security in Senegal by promoting female entrepreneurship.

Responsible farming

The Agrifed project, fully in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aims to promote, in a very concrete way, climate change resilient farming and to decrease the strong disparities between women and men.

Thanks to BNP Paribas’ support for Agrifed, 15,000 Senegalese women have been trained in resilient farming techniques, with women being the main victims of global warming. They have succeeded in developing rice growing in the Sahel region and in becoming financially autonomous, notably with the establishment by the BICIS (Banque Internationale pour le Commerce et l’Industrie du Sénégal) of a specific line of credit(Opens in a new tab) that covers the production and marketing phases of rice.

In November 2020, they were trained to fly drones to facilitate the inspection of their fields and improve their yields. Through mapping and data interpretation, they can now more accurately estimate the amount of fertiliser needed and detect possible diseases in their plots. Using drones results in significant time saving, allowing them to focus on the supply chain and finances, while improving their environmental practices.

In response to the Covid-19 crisis, BICIS and UN Women partnered with Senegal’s Ministry of Women and Family to purchase 231 tonnes of rice and 23,065 tonnes of cereals from REFAN (Réseau des Femmes Agricultrices du Nord) and distribute them to 10,000 vulnerable Senegalese households.

Next step: the roll-out of the “Buy from Women” platform

As part of the Agrifed programme, the mobile platform “Buy from Women” will be deployed soon. This launch marks an important step in giving these women access to technological tools. The goal? Connect women producers with all categories of buyers of agricultural products: wholesalers, retailers and consumers. This platform will also make specific information available to women farmers, communicated by voice mail, in French and Wolof. Topics covered include sowing times, market prices and weather conditions.

Generation Equality Forum , a springboard for the cause of women

This Agrifed programme will be one of the topics discussed at the Generation Equality Forum(Opens in a new tab), organised by UN Women, to be held in Paris from 30 June to 2 July. During this forum, many public and private actors from around the world will exchange views during virtual conferences and round tables to make concrete, ambitious and sustainable commitments for gender equality.

This Forum is an opportunity to look at the essential role that women play in the fight against global warming - with women being the main victims. On this occasion, Antoine Sire, Head of Company Engagement, will exchange views with Michele Mbo’o-Tchouawou, Deputy Director of the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) Programme; Oulimata Sarr, Regional Director of UN Women for West and Central Africa; Manuel Tonnar, Director for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid in the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg; and Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Coordinator of the Association of Peul Women and Autochthonous Peoples of Chad. In particular, they’ll be addressing:

  • strategies to capitalise on the role of women as agents of climate change in the Sahel;
  • good practices and promising approaches, building on UN Women’s programme “Women and Climate Resilient Agriculture in the Sahel”;
  • gaps, challenges and the way forward for scaling up climate action for gender equality in the Sahel and ensuring women’s access to economic opportunities as part of the region’s longer-term green transition.
Agrifed: empowering women and building climate resilience with drones.

HeForShe, a positive assessment

By taking on the role of “Thematic Champion HeForShe” in 2018, Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, Director and Chief Executive Officer of BNP Paribas, made a three-year commitment to carrying out concrete actions in favour of professional equality and gender diversity and the inclusion of women.

Ambitious goals that have been met or exceeded. In terms of gender diversity, the goal of increasing the appointment of men in our mainly female dominated Human Resources teams by 40% was exceeded, reaching 50%. In Global Markets, a traditionally male domain, the share of female senior managers increased by 40%. And the momentum continues: 1,000 women are to be recruited in the IT sector in order to reach 37% of the workforce (compared to 32% today).

in terms of gender diversity, our Ambitious goals have been met or exceeded.

Photos : ©BNP Paribas/Agrifed

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