Agriculture is Cool: Engaging Africa’s Youth
DATE: Monday 22 May 2017
TIME: 16:30 – 18:30
- H.E. John Dramani Mahama, Former President of Ghana
- Ms. Ada Osakwe, CEO, Agrolay Ventures
- Ms. Evelyn Ohanwusi, Head, Partnership Advocacy and Resource Mobilization, Youth Agripreneurs, Nigeria
- Mr. Noel Mulinganya, Coordinator, IITA Youth Kalambo Agripreneurs in East DRC
- Mr. Max Bankole Jarett, Deputy Director, African Progress Panel
- Dr. Temitope Aroge, Managing Director, Arog Bio Allied Agro Services Ltd
- Winner of the Youth Agripreneur Award
- Ms. Lerato Mbele, Presenter of Africa Business Report, BBC World News
Africa has the world's youngest population. There are 420 million youth aged 15-35 in Africa. Most of these young people lack access to meaningful economic opportunities. Of those not in school, one-third are unemployed and discouraged, another third are in vulnerable employment, and only one in six is in wage employment. On the other hand, the average age of farmers in Africa is 60 years for a continent hoping to feed itself and to eradicate malnutrition by 2025. In the agriculture sector, lack of access to land, finance, markets, technologies and practical skills are barriers to youth participation. In addition, there is a perception among the youth that farming is an unattractive career path.
Yet the agriculture sector holds the potential to create gainful job and wealth creation for the continent's young people. There are opportunities to empower the youth at each stage of the agricultural value chain as 'agripreneurs.' The ENABLE (Empowering Novel Agri-Business-Led Employment) Youth Program has shown evidence that with greater access to the agribusiness enterprise, the youth can be the driving force for the transformation of Africa's agriculture.
This three-part interactive event will bring into the spotlight the innovative concept of "Youth Agripreneurs" developed by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria as well as similar original ideas, to showcase success stories in Africa's agriculture sector. Following a short documentary highlighting the AfDB's role in attracting more investment for youth in agribusiness, the audience will hear direct testimonies from some of the bright young African Agripreneurs. Finally, there will be a panel conversation on the topic of youth in agriculture, and the celebration of Agripreneur excellence through an award ceremony (the call for business ideas will be launched and a winner selected before the Annual Meetings. It is envisaged that the Bank through the African Development Institute will send the winner to Korea for a study visit).