The women of western Africa have been using shea nut butter for centuries to protect their skin from dry Saharan winds. Through innovative enterprise, its now protecting them in other ways, too. A similar program in Mali, supported by ITC, is also demonstrating the potential for export to improve the situation of women in developing countries. Shea butter production is the focus of one of several programs recently implemented by ITC to assist women in Mali in developing their entrepreneurial skills and incomes. ITC is working with the sector development coordination team in Mali to continue to support social and economic development and export growth of the shea butter sector until 2010, through its work in the All ACP Agricultural Commodities Program, funded by the European Union.
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