development from 2010 - 2020


Projects in 11 years

In the last decade, Self Help Africa has supported more than 1.4 million households in programmes across  11 countries. 

From 2010-2020, SHA carried out 187 separate development projects  that directly and indirectly reached more  than nine million people. Projects over  that time were delivered through a broad  range of activities, including:  

  • Increasing agricultural productivity
  • Livestock development  
  • Crop diversity 
  • Improving food and nutrition security 
  • Access to credit and finance  
  • Access for farming households to  markets  
  • Promoting adaptation strategies that supported small-scale farmers to be more resilient to climate shocks 

In recent years, SHA has helped communities to adapt to sudden onset emergencies, supported women and rural youth to develop small businesses and access  markets, and supported the growth of  agri-business, aiming to create both jobs  and new markets for small-scale farmers. 

SHA worked with its largest number of people in southern Africa (Zambia and  Malawi), where our projects reached  564,451 households. In East Africa  (Kenya, Uganda and Burundi) work  reached 349,713 households; in the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia and Eritrea) 350,759; and in West Africa (Burkina  Faso, Togo, Benin, Ghana) work reached  171,161 households.

In 2020, Self Help Africa worked with a total of 435,818 households – and carried out projects that reached a total of 2,726,400 people.

59% of our clients are women

10 years focus on gender

Over the past decade, there has been a steady, year on year, increase in the number of women farmers with whom Self Help Africa works. In 2020,  over 57% of all farmers with whom we  worked were women, an increase of  2.4% over the previous year. 


11 years ago, just 43% of all people we  worked with were women. By 2014,  parity in representation between men  and women had been reached, and in  the years since, the number of projects  that are supporting women farmers has  continued to grow.

Self Help Africa's work supported  225,792 women and 210,026 male farmers, last year. In Malawi, 57.8% of clients were female.

adapting to Climate 2010-2020


climate smart households
in 2013

increased to


climate smart households
in 2020

For more than 20 years, Self Help Africa has been implementing projects that support small-scale  farming households to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate  change. In regions where food production systems are extremely vulnerable to the effects of global warming, we have been working to support sustainable intensification of farming since before many of the methods were defined as ‘climate smart.’

Since Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) as an approach was first developed, and launched by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation at the Hague Conference on Agriculture, Food and Climate Change in  2010, Self Help Africa has been adopting key elements of the strategy in its  programmes. 

The adoption of CSA practices, which seek to both increase food security and resilience while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions, has grown significantly in the past decade. 83,000 households reported to be adopting climate smart farming practices in 2013, compared to 341,000 households in 2020.

This latter figure represents 62.2% of households using at least some climate smart farming practices on their land.


10 years of financial services

For more than a decade, Self Help Africa has been supporting 'the unbanked,' people who don't have the assets to have their own bank account, to access financial services.

Often, these are village based savings and loans groups who save together, at other times it is through more formal micro-finance institutions that lend for a purpose. In the period between 2014 and 2020, the percentage of households that we work with that have secured access to financial services of some kind has incrreased from 20.3% to 62.1%.

In 2014 just 61,200 people working with the organisation  had access to services where they could save, or could borrow money, if required. By 2020, that number had increased to 270,469 households, as more households became involved in VSLAs (village savings and loans associations), SACCOs (savings and credit cooperatives) or could access loans from other microfinance institutions.

our clients 2010-2020


Increase in the number of people we work with, since 2010