In 2003, African heads of state have pledged to revitalize the agricultural sector on the continent through the allocation of 10% of their budget to the agricultural sector and a 6% annual growth rate of agriculture. Ten years later, only 8 of the 54 countries have met this commitment while more than 240 million people still suffer from malnutrition on the continent. This situation challenges the conscience of all those involved in the development and the fight against poverty and hunger.
The 23rd African Union Summit is being held from the 20th to the 27th of June 2014, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. During this Summit the Heads of African States will redefine new commitments for the transformation of agriculture in Africa. ONE.org and other organizations are organizing a digital Youth Summit on June 23 in order to mobilize African leaders during the summit so that they set new commitments for agriculture.
In recent months, ONE.org with partners worked together to achieve the 10 joint policy recommendations. In addition to the policy work, the petition "Do Agric, it pays "was launched and now has over 2 million signatures.
The idea of this summit is to use digital platforms (mainly Twitter) to mobilize African citizens and show their commitment to the Heads of State. The summit will be an opportunity to promote agriculture among young people in line with Recommendation No. 5, which calls for the narrowing of the youth and gender gap in Agriculture.
On the continental level, to ensure a success of this summit, the most important will be the “twitter hour”. A total of 11 tweets will be drafted from the 10 policy recommendations as well as the image of the petition. At a set time, young people will tweet in concert each of the policy recommendations. They will also retweet each other’s tweets over a period of 1 hour. The petition tweets will be addressed to African leaders, specific leader twitter handles as well as the AU Commission’s twitter handle.
YPARD is engaged in this digital summit with ONE.org to mobilize the voices of African youth so that the leaders better support agriculture on the continent. You are invited to contribute to this digital summit by engaging with the hashtag #10percent and by joining on Twitter on 23rd June (between 12h and 13h GMT) !
Picture credit: Against sun!, by Asif Akbar.