Women, Africans and Farmers: A Program to Empower Cocoa Workers

The AWA by Magnum initiative includes a fashion collection to be launched on World Cocoa and Chocolate Day, and to present it, a virtual avatar has been created (designed from the faces of 128 farmers) that now has its own ELLE award.

Living with inequality is the daily life of many women in Côte d’Ivoire, an injustice that affects them both in training and employment. In the data? Only 53% of women are active against 82% of men. And this in a country that is one of the main producers of cocoa in the world, being the key role of women in this task. The result? An obvious impact on their vital aspirations and mental health. It is precisely in this context that AWA by Magnum was born, a program aimed at socially and economically empowering women farmers who work with this fruit. A crop that also has another problem: seasonality.

Cocoa workers in Ivory Coast.


This year, coinciding with World Cocoa Day (October 1), the project comes to life in the form of a virtual avatar that was designed after scanning 128 faces of women dedicated to cocoa farming. Her name is AWA (@AWAbyMagnum), Magnum’s first digital ambassador and winner of an extraordinary award from Elle magazine’s Elle Women Awards 2022, which recognizes female talent. It is a recognition that effectively pays tribute to all those Ivorian women farmers she represents.

Women of Ivory Coast with the prize awarded to AWA by ELLE.


A fashion collection with social impact

AWA is also presenting a limited edition fashion collection that includes: a skirt, a cape, a large scarf (that can be worn as a top or a scarf), a smaller scarf and a cast silver bracelet. All these pieces, which will be available from October 1st on awabymagnum.com , have been made with local materials and always taking into account the impact of their production on the environment.

These pieces came about thanks to designer Rebecca Zoro, who grew up precisely in these communities dedicated to cocoa farming in Côte d’Ivoire. “I’m very proud to know that the benefits will go to the farming communities through the Magnum cocoa program that supports them,” Zoro explains. And it is that what is collected from the sale of the collection will go to the programs that the company develops in the country related to the production of this food. In addition, a team of local artisans and artists has been used for its preparation.

Clothing inspired by Ivorian craftsmanship

The cloak was made from a cloth, called ‘kamandje’, from a town called Sinfra. It is a symbol of the values of esteem and association.


A program that really works

Magnum’s initiative in Côte d’Ivoire aims to empower women to work independently and in a stable manner. To do this, the programs provide financial education and financing. This work is carried out in close collaboration with two international NGOs, Care International and 100WEEKS .

This summer, the first 161 women from these communities graduated, receiving months of entrepreneurial training and practical knowledge in financial management. Many of the graduates have already established businesses that are expanding their income-generating activities.

Designer Rebecca Zoro during the process of making the solidarity collection.