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New MEDA project to support sustainable farming and business practices

Waterloo, ON, December 19, 2018 – Today, on behalf of the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development, the Honourable Bardish Chagger announced funding for a new five-year project with MEDA that will improve the economic resilience of women and youth farmers in Senegal.

Nouveau projet MEDA pour soutenir les pratiques agricoles et commerciales durables

Waterloo, ON, le 19 décembre 2018 - Aujourd’hui, au nom de l’honorable Marie-Claude Bibeau, ministre du Développement international, l’honorable Bardish Chagger a annoncé le financement d’un nouveau projet quinquennal avec MEDA qui améliorera la résilience économique des agricultrices et des jeunes agriculteurs au Sénégal.

This article was originally published in Mennonite World Review

Successor is first woman and first person of African descent to lead organization

INDIANAPOLIS — As Allan Sauder retires from Mennonite Economic Development Associates in December after 16 years as president, he will leave behind an organization that reaches much further than it did when he joined.

MEDA set new records in donations and clients served for the second consecutive year, Sauder noted in his final address to the organization’s annual convention in Indianapolis Nov. 8-11.

In the year that ended June 30, MEDA received $8.2 million in private donations from supporters in North America andEurope, up 31 percent from a year earlier.


As published in the Waterloo Record. 

WATERLOO — Taking the helm of the Mennonite Economic Development Associates was a simple decision for Dr. Dorothy Nyambi.

"It's unique and it's sustainable," she said.

The Waterloo-based organization's focus — and successful track record — on supporting entrepreneurship to alleviate poverty impressed Nyambi. "That dedication to really taking things to the finish line, to let people sustainably get out of poverty," she said.

As published by CBC Radio: All in a Day with Alan Neal

Nigeria is seeing a surge of interest in agriculture, but violent conflicts in some parts of the country are holding people back from exploring that industry. Hear from Chom Bagu, Field Project Manager of our Nigeria WAY project in partnership with Global Affairs Canada. 

Listen to the full interview here.

Allan SauderAllan Sauder, Mennonite Economic Development Associates’ (MEDA) longest serving president, told staff this week of his intention to retire at year-end, initiating an orderly leadership transition process which will take place over the balance of 2018. The board of directors will begin a global search to select a new leader.

 “My 31-year career with MEDA has been a wonderful experience and has given me opportunities that I would not exchange for any other. I am so grateful for the support I have received over the years from the board of directors, colleagues on the MEDA staff, partners, clients and the international development community in general.” Sauder said.  “As I look back, I am proud of the impact and growth that the MEDA team has been able to achieve, but I think most often of the many rewarding friendships that have developed along the way.”

As published by VEGA.

Laura Alexander, Director of Programs and of the Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Special Program Support Project (SPSP) at Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA), recently visited VEGA’s Enabling Growth through Investment and Enterprise (ENGINE) program in Tanzania. Laura had the opportunity to get to know some of ENGINE’s highly skilled volunteers sent by implementing partners IESC and MEDA.

Kathleen Campbell talking about VEGA

Volunteer expert Kathleen Campbell knows the potential waiting to be unlocked in small businesses around the world and the importance of strong business skills and services to generating sustainable growth. As a former executive of Ten Thousand Villages, a company that helps artisans in developing countries increase their income by creating long-term, fair trading relationships, Ms. Campbell has unique experience facilitating the sustainable growth of enterprises and value chains.

As published on

Wa, Feb. 21, GNA – Mr Amidu Chinnia Issahaku, the Acting Upper West Regional Minister, has expressed government’s commitment to create a just society where fair opportunities for all Ghanaians are ensured regardless of their location.

He said Akuffo-Addo’s administration believes in working to create fair and inclusive society where equality of opportunity is guaranteed and citizens are permitted to share in the prosperity of the nation.

He was addressing a two-day capacity building workshop for District Coordinating Directors, Planning Officers and Gender Desk Officers on strategic implementation of Ghana’s Gender Policy.

The workshop was organized by the Department of Gender with funding support from the Mennonite Economic Development Associates.

It was held under the theme: “Mainstreaming Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment into Ghana’s Development Efforts.”

 As published in Canadian Mennonite.

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Ashlyn Shantz of Heidelberg, Ont., right, shares a meal together with a local in the village of Win Poat, Myanmar.
(Photo by Byron Shantz)

When I originally told friends and family of my intention to travel with my family to Myanmar, I was challenged with the idea of a known global-crisis country as a travel destination. However, we were completely removed from any threat of the Rohingya genocide crisis in the northwest of the country. Our experience was in the south, where Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) is impressively rooted in creating sustainable solutions to poverty there.

The idea of travelling with MEDA is attractive, deeply fulfilling and safe. MEDA has an ability to draw like-minded donors who are ecstatic to show their involvement and support, in this case for Myanmar on the Move, an initiative to improve the lives of 25,000 women farmers.

As published in


The Authorities of the Ministry of Family Economy and the Nicaraguan Institute of Agriculture (INTA) have signed an inter-institutional cooperation agreement with the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA).

The cooperation is for the implementation of a project to advance towards prosperity, including the agri-food sector, for an amount of 9.2 million Canadian dollars, financed by the Canadian Government.

As published on Next Billion by Linda Jones

While impact investing has become a buzzword in global development in recent years, the concept and practice had been around for decades before the sector even had a name. To take one perhaps under-recognized example, Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) was launched as an investment club in 1953, when a group of North American Mennonite business people joined together to support the development of businesses in Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina. These small businesses were operated by European WWII refugees and local indigenous communities who did not have the means to expand or improve their enterprises. Drawing on their extensive business background, the investment club members determined that loans to these types of business owners could catalyze sustainable economic growth. So these early “impact investors” offered loans as high-risk venture capital, mitigating the risks with the provision of business coaching and technical assistance.

As published in Devex by Lisa Cornish.

CANBERRA — Ten projects have been awarded funding of up to $500,000 Australian dollars ($377,000) from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through round two of their business partnerships platform, or BPP.

Round two funded projects include a Fairtrade Australian and New Zealand and Krissy Co. partnership to improve access to markets for smallholder coconut farmers in Samoa, a partnership between Oxfam International and Bangladesh SME Corporation Limited to improve the dairy sector and promote sustainable energy use in Bangladesh, a partnership between the Mennonite Economic Development Associates and East-West Seed to create new markets for seeds and vegetables in Myanmar, and MEDA and Engro to partner in inclusive seed systems for Pakistan.