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The Gender Innovation Challenge Project, a pivotal component of the broader Artificial Intelligence for Agriculture and Food Systems (AI4AFS) innovation research network, has officially kicked off with a resounding success. Led by the African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS) in collaboration with partners Kumasi Hive and icipe, the project aims to enhance the capabilities of women and marginalized communities, enabling them to harness the full potential of AI technologies in Agriculture and Food Systems (AFS) across Africa.

In Nigeria, the project manifested through the impactful “Design by Inclusion” workshop held on November 8-9, 2023, at Enziani Town, Nsukka, Enugu. The workshop drew diverse and enthusiastic participation, with a significant majority being women—a strategic move to address gender disparities prevalent in the agricultural sector. The focus on women is crucial as they play a central role in agriculture but often face barriers to accessing and benefiting from technological advancements. The project strategically targeted rural women in the co-design of AI tools in Agriculture.

The engaging workshop provided a platform for knowledge exchange, skill-building, and fostering innovation. Participants actively contributed ideas, shared experiences, and learned practical applications of AI in agriculture tailored to their unique contexts. The positive response from the attendees during and after the workshop underscores the project’s potential impact on empowering women and marginalized communities in Nigeria.

This initiative marks a significant step toward creating an inclusive and technologically empowered agricultural landscape, aligning with ATPS’s commitment to advancing sustainable development through science, technology, and innovation. As the Gender Innovation Challenge unfolds, it is expected to catalyze positive transformations, promoting gender equality and unlocking the untapped potential of women in the agriculture sector.

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