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Herald to the youth workshop #AgriYouthEngagement

The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) in collaboration with the Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD) in December last year launched an essay competition. In this competition, youth articulated their experiences in youth engagement initiatives across the Africa region, including the context of agri-preneurship.

This was with the aim of informing FARA and its partners better on how to effectively engage with and feature youth and women in agriculture in the context of implementing CAADP Malabo’s science agenda.

From the twenty-six (26) countries in Africa, one hundred and fifty (150) essays recounting the experiences of youth as beneficiaries of various initiatives of diverse agricultural institutions were amassed. Forty (40) of these were written in French and a hundred and ten (110) in English. Also notable among the entries were illustrations of youth’s experiences being directly involved in the implementation of youth-targeted initiatives in which the participants themselves had the opportunity to engage other youth. The themes of engagement described included the following:

  • entrepreneurship,
  • food security,
  • sustainable agriculture and natural resources,
  • advocacy towards agricultural policy formulation,
  • ecological agriculture,
  • agricultural extension,
  • women empowerment,
  • climate change,
  • sustainable development, among others.

The essays were graded according to the guidelines outlined for participants in the call for entries:

  • The required length of write-up: between 500 and 1000 words.
  • Explanation of the change of outlook to the youth
  • Discussion of the ways in which the experience enhanced the participant’s situation
  • Clear description of the initiative so as to identify and credit the programme/institution
  • Description of the support offered by this intervention
  • Description of features of the initiative that inspired/ empowered the youth
  • Description of challenges that this initiative helped you overcome
  • Description of challenges remaining and what could be done further
  • Portrayed relevance of sharing of this experience for other youth

After the first step of grading, those authors who met the outlined criteria in their essays, as reviewed by a panel of evaluators, were selected for an interview with a consultant to gather further information to constitute potential cases for experience capitalization as well as support in validation of youth agri-preneurship engagement framework and agribusiness curriculum.

The information compiled through this process, with the authors responding to a set of questions related to the specific experience, will now serve as a guiding document in a consultative workshop with youth and experts in youth engagement. The top thirty-five (35) among the participants of the FARA-YPARD Africa Essay Competition #AgriYouthEngagement have been selected to participate in the Youth Workshop: Strategic Engagement and Capacity Development of Youth in Agri-preneurship for Technology Adoption.

The participants in no particular order are:

Annet Dianah Nannono, Uganda

Lukman Abubakari, Ghana

Tabby Karanja-Lumumba, Kenya

Ntui Ebob Ojong Michelline, Cameroon

Etany Solomon, Uganda

Adams Sapeho, Uganda

Winston Ndebele, Zimbabwe

Pius Lutakome, Uganda

Shitote Philip Cliff, Kenya

George Mimano, Kenya

Simbeko Sadi, DRC

John Agboola, Nigeria

Gcina Petros Dlamini, Eswatini

Dinneya Jonadab Chinonso, Nigeria

Ochieng Obunga, Kenya

Diphoso Gadaffi Maitiyo, Bostwana

Clive Takudzwa Gahadza, Zimbabwe

Lavhelesani Rodney Managa, South Africa

Winnie Williams, Kenya

Abdullahi Tsani, Nigeria

Tene Tayo Paul Martial, Cameroon

Aliou Fousseni, Benin

Mvuenga Eden, DRC

Nunda Erick, DRC

Diyani Sinandja Issifou, Togo

Henri Totin, Benin

Aimé Kazika, DRC

Efoua Aba’a Borice Evard, Gabon

Sègla Bienvenue Toviwazon, Benin

Malala Onisoa Rakotojaofeno, Madagascar

Houadakpode Dossa Stanislas, Benin

Raphaëla Paula Gnancadja, Benin

Bakirwena Tiyagouna Gilbert, Togo

Yacine Yade, Senegal

Issoufa Bachir Bounou, Niger

Congratulations, Guys!

In this three-day workshop which takes place from 2nd to 4th May 2019, participants will get the opportunity to build their writing & communication skills to share knowledge and experiences apply the concepts of Innovation Platforms for agri-preneurship development and validate the framework for agri-preneurship capacity development interventions among youth. A few YPARD Africa representatives from the sub-regions (West and Central, Eastern and Southern Africa) will also partake in the workshop to share their experiences on expanding their country chapters. Also, among the collaborators are the TAAT ENABLE Youth compact, African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS) and several Agricultural Incubators Networks.

Ultimately, the participants will constitute an expanded network of practitioners of experience capitalization who will assist in capturing experiences on the implementation of the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) within the in-country TAAT commodity compacts. Thus, FARA is sponsoring the attendance of the youth professionals and practitioners at the workshop.

We profoundly express our appreciation to all the youth across the continent who conscientiously responded to our call for entries to the FARA-YPARD Africa Essay Competition #AgriYouthEngagement. We look forward to our continued engagement together as we advance the involvement of youth in Africa’s Agrifood systems.

Photo credit: YPARD (Flickr)