The West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD) with support of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has officially launched the project on "Empowering Youths for Agripreneurship in West Africa" on June 23, 2016 in Dakar Senegal.
This project aims to create entrepreneurial opportunities for 1,000 youths in agriculture to contribute to the sustainable improvement of productivity, competitiveness and agricultural systems markets in the sub-region.
The launching ceremony consisted of the presentation of the virtual platform dedicated to the mentoring and advisory services to support youths in agricultural entrepreneurship and the demonstration of the WEBTV to live stream and showcase success stories and agricultural technologies and innovations. The launching ceremony broadcasted live on the virtual platform, has totalized over 300 views.
Dr Alioune FALL, Chairman of the Governing Board recalled in his speech that youth employment is a shared challenge and all African countries must undertake initiatives to support the agribusiness sector and create favorable environment to encourage youth involvement in agriculture.
The Representative of the IsDB Regional Office, Mr. Abdel Wahab CHERIF, welcomed the initiative of CORAF which is, according to him, is contributing to the effective and valuable involvement of youth to become a productive force in building a better future. "The IDB will continue to support the CORAF initiative because we remain convinced that this is a way to ensure better integration of technologies in the process the value-adding and wealth creation for more job opportunities for young people and to positively impact agriculture and food security, "said Abdel Wahab CHERIF.
Dr. Abdou TENKOUANO, Executive Director of CORAF/WECARD, called on young people to take ownership of this platform while urging donors to support CORAF in up scaling the program to create jobs opportunities and strengthen the capacity of youth on economic principles ranging from agro food systems to post-harvest and marketing.
The ambition of the CORAF / WECARD is to demonstrate that products of science can be transformed into sustainable streams of income for young agripreneurs and stimulate technologies adoption through the establishment of incubation centers within its national centers of specialization oriented speculation as Livestock, aquaculture, fruits & vegetables, dry cereals, plantains, roots & tubers, maize and rice. The objective is to have research outputs improve productivity of young agripreneurs with a glimmer hope that they translate into economic gain.
Throughout the project, the selected young agricultural entrepreneurs will benefit from mentoring and distance learning courses through a virtual platform from imminent scientists and researchers on agricultural technologies generated under the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP) as well as successful entrepreneurs from the private sector.