Olam Agri, an agribusiness company in food, feed, and fiber, has launched a baking academy to train and economically empower more women in Nigeria. The academy located in Kano state builds on initiatives under Olam Agri’s Seeds for the Future Foundation.

Crown Flour Angels is an economic empowerment initiative of Olam Agri’s wheat-milling business in Nigeria, which aims to equip women with commercial baking skills to enhance their earnings while enabling them to contribute to their communities and the national economy. The launch of the baking academy is targeted at extending the impact of the economic empowerment initiative and deepen Olam Agri’s human capital development contributions to the Federal Government's economic development agenda.

"We believe investing in the development of skills and opportunities, particularly for women, can enhance the livelihoods of families and help stimulate national prosperity. The Crown Flour Angels initiative is targeted at equipping women with the commercial baking skills to enhance their earning potential," says Ashish Pande, country head, Olam Agri in Nigeria.

The launch of the CFA Baking Academy follows the successful facilitation of baking training for over 250 International Cake Exploration Société (ICES) women in Lagos by the business under the initiative.

"The launch of the Baking Academy offers a scaled support framework for women across regions, and the choice of Kano is strategic. The bakery market is growing significantly and presents an opportunity for bakers, including graduates from our baking academy. We’re proud to be launching our women into this prosperous market through our initiative," says Bola Adeniji, head of marketing, Olam Agri in Nigeria.

Guests at the launch event included the Emir of Kano, HRH Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, the representative of the Kano State Governor, Dr Ibrahim Gaya, who is also special advisor to the governor on rural and community development, Alhaji Abdul Munaf Yunusa, chairman of Azman Air, and Dr Faruk Umar, director, Greenwich Merchant Bank.

The Emir of Kano applauded Olam Agri for locating the baking academy in Kano. He remarked, “Olam Agri has done well by locating this academy in our state. The academy will help build our community by giving our women the opportunity to learn the skills that will yield good incomes for their households when put to commercial use.”

The representative of the state Governor, Dr, Ibrahim Gaya, said, “Olam Agri's investment in Kano state attests to the state's peace and impressive security levels. The governor and the traditional rulers have never relented in their efforts to keep ensuring growth in the state. We, therefore, invite more businesses to emulate Olam Agri.”