International Day of Rural Women  

Every year on October 15th, The United Nations’ International Day of Rural Women recognizes the many contributions that women make in rural areas and the challenges they face.  Women are the backbone of rural communities and make up about 43% of the agricultural labor force in developing countries.  In Africa, women farmers who mainly practice subsistence farming make up about 50% of the agricultural labor force.   They are responsible for their family’s food security and nutrition. Yet, women receive only a fraction of the inputs and services, such as improved seed, fertilizer, land, credit and agricultural services that men receive.  This lack of support results in women working longer and more labor intensive hours and their daily struggle often goes unnoticed. As author, George Monbiot , eloquently put it If wealth was the inevitable result of hard work and enterprise, every woman in Africa would be a millionaire.”

PictureMembers visit a demonstration project
Africa Development Promise strongly believes that rural African communities can be economically self-sufficient and flourish given the right tools.  We help women farmers come together to build professional, well-managed agricultural cooperatives because it provides a path out of poverty. 

There is no development strategy more beneficial to society as a whole – women and men alike – than the one which involves women as central players.” – Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Today as we celebrate the International Day of Rural Women, we want to highlight our work with the Koperative Ingabo Ikingira Ubukene (aka Shield of the Property Cooperative) in Eastern Rwanda.  The 66 women we work with in this cooperative are poised to become the next generation of business and community leaders.  This group of women is determined to build a better life for themselves, their children and the community.  They understand that the cooperative model of enterprise gives them voice, improves their bargaining power,  and provides better access to agricultural supplies, services and markets, leading to greater sustainability. 

Our role at Africa Development Promise is to facilitate the process of building professional, well-managed agricultural cooperatives by providing the training and skills.  Working with local Business Development Service Consultants and agronomists we train cooperatives on governance, leadership, operational management, developing growth strategies, business plans and technical support.  We are proud to work with this group of enterprising women.

 Africa Development Promise is a nonprofit humanitarian organization founded by Monica LaBiche Brown whose mission is to stimulate economic activity by building strong, well-managed, and profitable agricultural cooperatives that strengthen local economies to achieve long-term positive outcomes. We are committed to the cooperative-enterprise model that is democratically owned and controlled and provides benefit to its members and the greater community. For more information visit our website at