After starting her career in online business, Charlotte Libog started farming. Despite unfortunate beginnings, she has persevered and is now campaigning for agricultural entrepreneurship through the «Africa Bread-basket of the World» platform.
Seeing her moving with elegance and express herself with ease, difficult to imagine at first sight that Charlotte Libog is a farmer. « I am native of Yaoundé in Cameroon and I grew up there until I was 18, before continuing my studies in France. I have a postgraduate degree in e-business and have been in this business for many years. »
But the love of the earth catches her up. «Like many Africans, I grew up with a degrading image of the rural world. Besides, many parents, including mine, like to say to their offspring: «Attention, work well at school, otherwise you will find yourself in the farms in the village! »
« Yet agriculture is today a key sector in Africa. I became aware of this reality thanks to a colleague I met during my visit to a software editor». The latter told him that he has invested on land, in Cameroon. She did the same. The experience was bitter but far from discouraging. «I bought a piece of land to start producing food crops, unfortunately without success. This experience, despite being enriching, enable me to discover the huge scarcity of the sector in terms of information and support for the entrepreneur, and this is what motivated the creation of the platform “Africa Bread-basket of the World”. »
Avec Afrique Grenier du monde, Charlotte Libog plaide en faveur de l’entreprenariat agricole auprès des décideurs du continent
«I define myself as an agricultural entrepreneur and an activist for the promotion of agribusiness in sub-Saharan Africa. »
This platform advocates for agricultural entrepreneurship and wants be a proposal design group, through reports and conferences to make agriculture in Africa “the bread-basket of the world”. «I define myself as an agricultural entrepreneur and an activist for the promotion of agribusiness in sub-Saharan Africa. This continent is full of agricultural wealth that still remains to be exploited, but paradoxically, it is still largely food importer».
Charlotte Libog et le président de la chambre du commerce du Bénin, l’agro-industriel Jean-Baptiste Satchivi
The digital applied to agriculture
Among the solutions she proposes: the use of new technologies. «Today, I enjoy applying digital technology to agriculture in Africa thanks to the “Africa Bread-basket of the World” platform, dedicated to the promotion of agricultural entrepreneurship by valuing the entire chain via a device called Isap (Information, Awareness, Support and Advocacy) and on the other hand the Fagem (lefagem.com), an annual meeting dedicated to the promotion of agro-digital solutions essential for the growth of the agricultural and agribusiness sector. It is my way of making a significant contribution to inclusive and sustainable development in Africa. »
During meetings, she brings together public and private actors as well as external partners. On seeing her, one must not rely on her natural charm, Charlotte does not hesitate to let them face their contradiction, with a smile. Her speech is wise. «Advocacy has come as a necessity. Of course, the efforts of the private sector, farmers, the political and institutions in Africa must be supported by a review of the international agreements on trade. The current global liberalization, introduced by the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), has introduced a distortion of prices that is not always favorable to local production. »
If youth remain at the heart of her «advocacy», women, the main agricultural workforce on the continent, require specific support, she said. «Women have played a vital role since immemorial time in Africa, as elsewhere. All the players acknowledge it today, woman is an unavoidable player of a real development in Africa. We know it, we say it. It is high time that together, we can get out of the discourse, break the societal clichés that still handicap a real promotion of female leadership in Africa, and support the development players in both urban and rural areas, towards a real liberation of their potential».
WIA Initiative: «A new governance by promoting the emergence of women leadership in Africa»
The emergence of a new leadership requires the creation of networks. «A platform like the Women In Africa Initiative really symbolizes what we need today: a new governance by promoting the emergence of women leadership in Africa with the involvement of all players: political and institutions, private sector, civil society, both in Africa and at the international level.»
Les Cafés AGM. Credit photo ANA