Youth agripreneurs to converge in Kigali
More than 300 global and African thought leaders and youth agripreneurs will come together for The MasterCard Foundation’s second Young Africa Works Summit on February 16 to 17 in Kigali, Rwanda.
The event will spark new thinking on how Africa’s growing youth population can transform the agricultural sector. Fifty young people will also attend to share their perspectives on employment and self-employment in this sector.
“Africa is home to the world’s youngest population with enormous potential to improve agricultural productivity and make the sector a viable source of employment for youth across the continent,” said Ann Miles, Director of Financial Inclusion and Youth Livelihoods, The MasterCard Foundation.
The agricultural sector, already the largest sector for employment in Africa, is expected to create eight million stable jobs by 2020 and offers tremendous promise for catalysing prosperity and creating sustainable livelihoods for young people.
The need for agricultural transformation on the continent, however, has never been more pressing.
“The 2017 Summit will highlight contributions being made by young people to transform the agricultural sector from subsistence farming to a modern, competitive, sustainable, and equitable business,” she added.
Miles said that with 11 million young Africans entering the job market annually and the rapid expansion of the continent’s agricultural sector, young people are driving the modernization of agriculture through the use of innovative technologies and production systems.
“Agricultural transformation is a clarion call for us, the youth of Africa,” said Pilirani Khoza, Founder of Bunda Female Students Organisation at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
“We must adopt the new technologies that are available to us. Youth are technological doers and thinkers, they are energetic and hungry for knowledge and they should be actively involved in transforming Africa,”she added.
Highlights of the Summit include a keynote address by Rhoda Peace Tumisiime, Commissioner of Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union, contributions from Agnes Kalibata, President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA); Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, CEO and Head of Mission at the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) amongst others.