Wednesday, October 18, 2017 9:30 pm
The President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, said that Africa needef to modernise and industrialise agriculture to avoid spending 110 billion dollars by 2025 on food importation.
Adesina said this in his remark at the 2017 Borlaug Dialogue Symposium on making farming cool: Investing in future African farmers and agripripeneurs” on Wednesday in Des Moines, Iowa in USA.
He said that this could be avoided if the youth were enabled to play a leading role in agriculture.
“Over the next 10 years, 120 million young Africans will be looking for work.
“Each year, only three million out of the 12 million who enter the labour market actually find jobs.
“What are these unemployed youths supposed to do?
“Unless we create employment opportunities for them or enable them to create employment for themselves and others.
“Africa’s burgeoning youths will give rise to serious political and socio-economic disruption,” Adesina said.
He said this was why the AfDB came up with the Empowering Novel Agri-Business-Led Employment (ENABLE) Youth initiative to make a change in Africa.
“It has been developed partly in response to these projections. The ENABLE Youth Initiative farming is neither drudgery, nor backbreaking intensive labour with no financial rewards.
“For ENABLE Youth, agriculture is hard work, but rewarding and profitable.
” Africa’s next billionaires are not going to come from oil, gas, or the extractives,” Adesina added.
According to him, “ENABLE Youth is about investing in small agribusinesses today so that they can grow into large enterprises tomorrow.
He said that empowering youth at each stage of the agribusiness value chain would enable them to establish viable and profitable agribusinesses, jobs and better incomes for themselves and their communities.
Adesina however said that over the next five years, the bank planned to train 10,000 young agripreneurs per country across 30 countries in Africa, that is 300,000 young Agripreneurs.
According to him, the bank has already approved projects in six countries for 774 million dollars.
“This is how we intend to make farming cool.” (NAN)