About 20 aspiring young agripreneurs are expected to meet in Dakar from Monday, December 18 to Wednesday December 20, 2017 to examine how new information and communication technologies (ICTs) can be used to create jobs and income generating activities in the agro-food system in West and Central Africa.
Organized by CORAF (West and Central Africa Council for Agricultural Research and Development), the three-day forum will seek to strengthen the capacities and skills of the young people to identify existing opportunities in ICTs and the agriculture sector.
The forum will also facilitate local and regional networks with ICT service providers and identify common challenges and propose context-specific solutions in agriculture e-finance. Further, participants will gain the ability to recognize the potential - and how to use - apps for the online commerce of agricultural products.
«Youth unemployment is a major challenge for the economies of West and Central African countries,» says, Dr. Abdou TENKOUANO, Executive Director of CORAF.
«As a solutions oriented organization, CORAF has facilitated the creation of many technologies and crop varieties which come with considerable opportunities for young people looking to new income generating activities.”
In supporting the agripreneurs forum, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) hopes youths will seize on the existing opportunities in the areas of ICTs and agriculture to improve their well-being.
«We hope young people of the region will leverage these new technologies to become not only a productive force in the local economies, but to also build a brighter future for themselves and their communities,» says Mr. Abdel Wahab Cherif, the Representative of the Islamic Development Bank’s Regional Office in Dakar.
«The IDB will continue to support CORAF’s initiative because we remain convinced that this is a way to ensure better integration of technologies in the process of value-adding and wealth creation for more job opportunities for young people and to positively impact agriculture and food security.”
CORAF is organizing this forum under its youth employment project known as Nurturing Enterprising Youth in Agricultural Technologies (NEYAT).
NEYAT had completed two portfolios on knowledge sharing and web-based channels in previous years. It now seeks to train over 1,000 youths and support them set up businesses in the agricultural sector.
The first batch of 120 mentees, out of 3,000 candidates have been selected and will start a one-year virtual mentorship program in early 2018.