MEDA to focus exclusively on agri-food as it scales for job creation

Left to Right: Derek Cameron, MEDA's Sr. Vice President, Global Programs and Lindsay Wallace, MEDA's Sr. Vice President, Strategy & Impact

MEDA is entering a period of proving that its work can have a broad impact, the organization’s senior vice president of programs says. “MEDA’s an organization that’s on the move,” Derek Cameron said in a year-in-review report to supporters.

Landing a $200 million fund to create new jobs in sub-Saharan Africa was a major highlight of the past year, Cameron said.

MEDA also signed $40 million in new contracts for projects in Tanzania, Kenya, Guatemala & Nicaragua, and Ghana. During its fiscal 2022 year, which ended June 30, MEDA supported more than 700,000 clients. It helped to create 43,000 decent work opportunities. Nine thousand of these were salaried jobs, and 34,000 were self-employed.

Individual supporters provided $9.2 million in donations in support of MEDA’s efforts. In the past, 80 percent of MEDA’s efforts were related to agriculture. Going forward the organization will focus exclusively on agri-food market systems, said Dr. Dorothy Nyambi, MEDA’s president and CEO. “It is so important that all our supporters understand the reasons that we want to work in a different way and why it will achieve results,” she said.

Focus is a key trait of entrepreneurs, said Lindsay Wallace, MEDA’s senior vice president of strategy and impact.
That principle will guide MEDA’s efforts to create or sustain 500,000 decent work opportunities by 2030, she said. “The best way out of poverty is through decent work. We have a robust system for putting the strategy into effect.” Even if institutional funders of MEDA’s projects do not ask for job numbers, they will still be tracked.

Reaching new supporters will be an important thrust of MEDA’s efforts in coming years, said chief marketing and development officer Michael White. Efforts are underway to broaden MEDA’s champions demographically, geographically, and ethnically, both in North America and the Global South. “We need to be more inclusive while staying anchored to our values,” he said.

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