Tanager, established in 1993 as an affiliate of ACDI/VOCA, is an international nonprofit with a global mission to help solve problems of poverty, food insecurity, nutrition, and gender inequity. We connect people and partners in markets around the world to co-create opportunities for life-changing, sustainable change. Tanager has fully operational offices in Burkina Faso, Colombia, Ghana, India, Kenya, and Zambia. Over our 25-year history, we have worked across Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East, in countries including Egypt, Ethiopia, and Liberia. Along with ACDI/VOCA, our connections on the ground give us valuable insight to alleviate poverty, food insecurity, and gender inequities.


Tanager, ACDI/VOCA, and AV Ventures all share a mission to improve economic and social conditions for vulnerable populations around the world. The story of the newly formed Tanzanian NGO NAFAKA Kilimo is a clear example of how our three lines of business work together for sector-wide, and locally specific, impact. NAFAKA Kilimo’s story began with the Feed the Future Tanzania NAFAKA II Activity (2016-2021). Funded by USAID and implemented by ACDI/VOCA, the Activity worked to develop scalable models for technological innovation in Tanzanian rice and maize supply chains. As the project matured, the Tanzanian staff gained expertise in the local agricultural industry. As the Activity drew to a close, these thought leaders saw an opportunity to continue their work as a private entity, forming NAFAKA Kilimo, a Tanzanian NGO dedicated to leveraging the lessons learned from the implementation of the NAFAKA II Activity. In June 2021, NAFAKA Kilimo joined Tanager’s IGNITE Project as a local service provider. IGNITE, funded by the Gates Foundation, works to incorporate gender- and nutrition-sensitive approaches into Africa-based institutions’ business practices. By working with the IGNITE team, NAFAKA Kilimo helps other Africa-based institutions create and implement a gender and nutrition strategy and address concerns like staffing and staff training. NAFAKA Kilimo’s work with IGNITE is an example of how thoughtful, strategic, local engagement creates lasting local impact. In addition to Tanzania, IGNITE also works with organizations in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Nigeria to support the design, implementation, and evaluation of agriculture interventions that increase nutrition outcomes and women’s empowerment. IGNITE works to improve the ability of African institutions to incorporate nutrition and gender equality into their policy and business practices—their way of doing business—going forward.


Like many countries in the world, Burkina Faso is facing a youth employment crisis. Sixty-seven percent of the country’s population is less than 25 years old, and there are not nearly enough jobs to provide these young people with a living wage or the hope for future prosperity. While many enterprising youth demonstrate the initiative and creativity to start their own enterprises by participating in the informal entrepreneurial sector, they lack information and education on access to credit, market opportunities, and resources to help them succeed and grow their businesses.

Tanager’s Cultivons L’esprit d’Entreprise (CLE) effort gives these young entrepreneurs the knowledge, tools, and opportunities to support their big dreams, establishing local enterprises and creating financial stability for themselves. CLE provides job skills and opportunities for young women and men in target regions of Burkina Faso, including the Cascades, Centre-Nord, Est, Sahel, and urban regions of Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso. It also integrates young women in the job sector to increase their incomes. CLE works with local partners La Fabrique, Wakatlab, and MediaProd, to increase youth participation in agro-business, street trading, service industries, and renewable energy, sectors that offer the best opportunities for young people in the target regions.

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