Africa’s youth are all geared up and engaged in discussions at the Africa Food Systems Forum (AGRF) 2023 Summit. The 5-day Summit which began on the 5th of September 2023 is taking place at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre (JNICC) in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
To set the ball rolling, several organizations were engaged in the pre-summit from 3rd to 4th September emphasizing initiatives and possible ways for transforming Africa’s Food Systems. These pre-summit fora included the Mastercard Foundation’s side event dubbed, “From Farm to Fork for Real – How to Enhance Young People’s Employment and Entrepreneurship Opportunities Within Africa’s Agri-Food Systems “.
Drissa Tessougue the Country Representative of YPARD to Mali represented the Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD) at this side event. Drissa is among the youth leaders who convened this side event with concerns about the present and future of the Agri-Food system from farm to fork. The session is focused on maximizing employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for youth in the Agri-Food system.
The objective of the session was to facilitate joint learning between the youth and decision-makers to generate policy and private sector action for the creation of an enabling environment for young people to be able to maximize economic opportunities in the AFS.
Drissa Tessoungue pointed out that is imperative to address the transformation of Africa's education system to give due recognition and value to the agriculture sector. This recognition not only helps break the traditional stigma associated with farming but also fosters a generation of young individuals who are enthusiastic about and well-prepared for careers within the agrifood value chain. To truly empower these young entrepreneurs, there is a pressing need for comprehensive capacity-building and skills development initiatives. Equipping them with the necessary knowledge and competencies not only enhances their employability but also cultivates a culture of innovation and sustainability within Africa's agriculture sector, ultimately driving economic growth and food security on the continent.