African Youth Agripreneurs Forum
Over 200 young people gathered at the first African Youth Agripreneurs (AYA) forum that took place in Ibadan, Nigeria from 25 to 26 April 2017. Organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and partners, the forum served as a platform to promote skills, creativity and innovativeness in agribusiness. It offered many opportunities for networking among young entrepreneurs and key stakeholders. During the two-day workshop, participants shared success stories and addressed a variety of topics such as ICT, production, harvesting and processing, marketing, logistics, research and financial services. An Agri-Pitch entrepreneurship competition gathered ideas on innovations in agriculture: “How can Africans improve the way they produce, process and distribute African agrifood product?” The three winners will work with the AfDB to refine their ideas. In his speech on behalf of the AfDB President, Akinwunmi Adesina, Chiji Ojukwu, AfDB’s Agriculture and Agro-industry Director, announced that the AYA forum will become a flagship element of the AfDB’s initiative for youth employment in agriculture, the ENABLE Youth program- Empowering Novel Agri-Business –Led Employment. Launched in November 2016, ENABLE Youth aims to facilitate the creation of 300 000 agribusinesses and eight million jobs in 30 African countries during its first five years (2016-21). The programme’s objective is to enhance and modernise agricultural entrepreneurship in Africa through capacity-building and financing. It targets young Africans (aged 18-35), who intend to launch their business in the agricultural sector. To date, over 33 African countries have requested AfDB support in setting up similar Enable Youth schemes. The next AYA Forum will take place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire in 2018.