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Youth, ICTs and Agriculture at the 6th EU-Africa Business Forum

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The 6th EU-Africa Business Forum (EABF) begins today (on the 27th of  November 2017) roars into life in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire with an overarching theme ‘Investing in Job Creation for Youth’

The EABF brings together African and European leaders, stakeholders, multinationals to discuss ways to improve the business and investment climate between Africa and the European Union.

For many members of the e-Agriculture CoP, there is an interest in investment in Youth Employment, the Digital Startup Fair and also the investment in ICTs for agriculture.

ICTs and Youth in Agriculture

In this light, the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA) will be leading a session on integrating ICT innovations into agribusiness and another entitled "ICT has a key role to play in transforming African agriculture"

The first session will highlight the opportunities that ICTs can offer to young entrepreneurs. This event is targeted at young farmers, service providers, farmer organization and policy makers. ICTs are crucial in transforming African agriculture through improving productivity, market access and luring youth into agriculture.

‘ICT4Ag is a game changer in agricultural transformation in Africa, and young ICT4Ag entrepreneurs are making a difference for smallholder producers,” said CTA Director Michael Hailu.

The second session’s theme will be on “How to integrate innovative ICT technologies into agribusinesses”. The session will review some of the CTAs work in engaging young ICT professionals in developing smart solutions for agriculture.

Activities in ICTs and Youth supported by CTA include:-

AgriHack talent 2013 – This project encouraged young entrepreneurs to apply their ICT knowledge to agricultural programmes. Under this armpit several AgriHack hackathons have been held. Read more

Innovate for Agriculture publication - This was a publication whose full title was ‘Innovate for Agriculture: Young ICT entrepreneurs overcoming challenges and transforming agriculture’ – This was a collation of 30 innovations and featured 21 full stories and these cases studies were from a number of countries including Barbados, Botswana, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Jamaica, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Some of the featured stories included the following themes:- how the innovation came about; what problems it addresses; how the innovations are implemented; impacts so far; the business model; challenges faced; and strategies to address sustainability.

ICT Agripreneurship Guide – A Path to Success for Young ACP Entrepreneurs – is another guide that offer practical examples that provide step-by-step guidance on setting up and running an e-agriculture business. Read more

Trending comments about youth, ICTs for agriculture

We followed the twitter handle of the 1st day at #EABF2017 find below some of the quotable tweets:-

  •  ‘The biggest sector to create jobs in Africa is Agriculture. Turn agriculture into business’- Akinwumi Adesina ( AfDB President)
  •  ‘We must rain young people for the future of work in Africa. Future is digital” - Akinwumi Adesina ( AfDB President)
  •  “Young entreprenuers need good training, mentoring, networking – it’s all about CTA initiative(CTA AgriHack Twitter)
  •  'Digitalisation is about to reshape Africa’s agriculture'– Andrus Ansip (The European Commission Vice President for the Digital Single Market)

Why not follow this exciting meeting and learn more on their live streaming 

FAO, Youth in Agriculture and ICTs

FAO, CTA and IFAD have tackled before the subject of youth in agriculture. In this platform, we have published before the blogs that review this contricution.A study by FAO and partners established 6 principal challenges affecting youth in agriculture, and these are insuffient access to knowledge, information and education; limited access to land; inadequate access to financial services; difficulties in accessing green jobs; limited markets and limited involvement in policy dialogue. Read more.

The involvement of youth remains FAO's commitment, for example FAO is working with the Ugandan Agriculture Ministry to develop a policy for youth to be involved in agricultural value chain. The plan is to help the youth to have access to finance, tech entrepreneurship skills and promote ICTs in agriculture. Read more

Sources 

  1. CTA. Investing in job creation for young people in Africa.
  2. CTA. Innovate for agriculture