Incubating young agripreneurs…

Oluwabunmi Ajilore

The biggest challenge Africa is facing is its high level of youth unemployment. 60% of of the unemployed in the continent are youth. And youth constitute 40% of the continent’s population.

African countries, institutions and partners are striving to reverse this negative trend, through different programs: Youth in Africa are being mobilized and empowered to grab opportunities. They should become job creators rather than job seekers.

Africa should use youth as the source of enormous potential for economic development. Research has found that agriculture sector has a huge potential for youth employment.

To grab this great opportunity, many African countries want to accelerate growth and social transformations, by engaging youth. Youth have to participate and benefit from the growth and transform opportunities to improve their livelihoods.

Taking into considerations different challenges that face youth in Africa, including lack of access to land or market, lacking proper and stimulating policies, inadequate finance and infrastructure…etc, FARA and partners have initiated the African Agribusiness incubation Network (AAIN) to support youth to accelerate business development in agribusiness with a mandate of enhancing entrepreneurial talent, science and technology integration for job creation and wealth

AAIN is a functional business network that aggregates, convenes and coordinates agribusiness incubators and other private sector related agribusinesses in trade and investment in Africa. AAIN, through its agribusiness incubation model, offers a great potential for youth engagement, job and wealth creation as well as making science work in a way of changing youth perceptions towards agriculture, responding to different challenges faces youth.

Agribusiness incubations means mentorship, coaching and business planning services. AAIN was established to support start, growth, accelerate and develop agribusinesses along selected regional commodity value chains. That have played a crucial rule in agribusiness innovations encouraging job creation and startups development in the agribusiness sector in different countries of Africa. AAIN accounts for more than 12,000 jobs created through their inclusive business development.

Rwandan youth has shown interest in agripreneur incubation, helping them to reverse the trend of high unemployment rates, caused by a lack of information, access to land and finance. Young Rwandans expect to benefit from the AAIN program “Enable Youth”, which supports young unemployed graduates to go into agribusiness.

Quoting one of AASW7 presenter Ms. Mary N. Thiong’o from the AAIN Joint Research: The private sector can help in job creation and enhance the agriculture value chain. Rwanda needs to strengthen their policies linking up the youth private sector and science, to support agribusinesses, agriculture modernisation and employment development

The sky is no longer the limit in promoting agribusiness incubators, it is key to the success of young entrepreneurs and way of creating wealth and jobs.

Blogpost by Fred Shema, shemfred08(at)gmail.com, #AASW7 social reporter.
This post represents the author’s views only.
Picture courtesy FAO

Copyright © 2016, CTA. Technical Centre for Rural and Agricultural Cooperation

CTA is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). CTA operates under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is funded by the EU.