Farming communities throughout Guinea-Bissau have historically been victims of an entrenched, and often institutional, process of economic marginalization. The Guinea-Bissau Livelihood Initiative aims to break the current poverty cycle affecting smallholder producers and improve livelihoods through support of government priorities on economic growth and poverty reduction with a focus on agricultural production, market access and regulatory improvements for the farming sector. GBLI will target crop diversification for food security by providing technical assistance on producing high value crops like tomatoes, onions and particularly rice, which is a priority for the national development agenda of Guinea Bissau. The program’s core goals are to provide technical assistance, infrastructure investments, access to financing and technology, and direct market linkages for small-holder farmers. The market access strategy will also focus on opportunities to improve the conditions for processing, pricing and trading of cashews, and other high value products. The underlying objectives are to economically empower poor producers (primarily women), to extract great value from their products and facilitate a more enabling regulatory and commercial environment for smallholder producers throughout the Guinea-Bissau.
GBLI is working with a community of approximately 5,000 women and men employed in agricultural production. The program will engage stakeholders in Guinea-Bissau’s agriculture sector through four key interventions: technical assistance and capacity building, producer investment and market linkages, policy engagement, and enterprise leadership development. In order to address the root causes of poverty GBLI will target the interrelated barriers that contribute to the fundamental breakdowns in Guinea-Bissau’s agricultural economy. By leveraging GFI’s expertise in livelihood development and market access to maximize the capacity of local agricultural cooperatives and producer groups, the GBLI program aims to remove the barriers to economic opportunity for small producers in one of the world’s poorest and most isolated nations.
Haua Embaló is a manager in the socioeconomic field of study with expertise in project management, strategic planning, institutional development and microfinance development. With over 11 years of experience in community development, Embaló’s career includes the design and implementation of poverty reduction programs to generate income for local producers and youth organizations in craftwork, rice production and the cashew sector in Guinea Bissau. Prior to joining GFI, Haua worked for 10 years with SNV (a Dutch organization working in community development in Guinea-Bissau) as an adviser and project manager. In addition to her work as a project manager, she also worked as an independent consultant on numerous projects and programs in Guinea-Bissau. Haua began working as GFI Country Director for Guinea-Bissau in January 2016.
Jean Marsault is originally from Cameroon, where he did his entire nursery, primary, secondary and university studies. He is a graduate, as a Field Engineer in Telecommunication, from the National Polytechnic Bamenda, Cameroon. He later on went for further studies in the Republic of South Africa where he studied community development at the Kwazulu Natal Experimental College in Pinetown, Durban and graduated as a Development Instructor. As a pre-requisite for completion of community development studies, he did a successful six-month internship with Humana People to People in South Africa, an international NGO. Prior to joining GFI, Jean Marsault worked with a number of organizations, including ADPP in Guinea-Bissau, an international organization member of the International Federation of the Humana People to People, where he held the position of Partnership Officer; APALCOF, a major small holder farmers’ association in Guinea-Bissau, where he held the position of Program Manager; and, has been an independent consultant with the Guinea-Bissau National Civil Society Movement. He is versed in the English, French and Portuguese languages. In September 2014, Ella began working on the Guinea-Bissau Livelihood Initiative –GFI’s program in Guinea-Bissau – and he’s hoping to create a significant impact on the local populations’ livelihood.
Infamara Mane is natural born Bissau Guinean and he completed his primary, secondary, and higher education in The Republic of the Gambia at Malfa Primary school, Nusrat High school, and The National School of Forestry. He returned to Guinea-Bissau in 1990 and served as a junior staff member on Projecto Palmares under the Department of Forestry of Guinea-Bissau. In late 1993, he was appointed as an English Teacher in a High School in the Region of Cacheu in Guinea-Bissau. From 1994 to 1998 he continued teaching at the school and simultaneously contracted as secretary to the Taiwan Medical Mission in Canchungo in the Region of Cacheu. After the Guinea-Bissau Civil war of 1998/99 he was transferred to the capital city - Bissau - as English teacher at Liceu Nacional Kwame N’Krumah. In the year 2000, he was hired as an English and Basic Economics teacher at the Guinea-Bissau National School of Administration (CENFA), where he worked until 2008, when he returned to the Gambia and served as forest ranger until 2009 and was offered the opportunity to further his education at the National School of Forestry. He graduated with a degree in Forest Management and Land Conflict Resolution in 2011. Back in Guinea Bissau, he is presently appointed as Program Officer of the Global Fairness Initiative in Guinea-Bissau.
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