During an extra-ordinary Pan-African Movement (PAM) Youth Commission’s Fourth Africa Expects Youth Series webinar that took place on March 27th, 2021, African youth were encouraged to increase efforts in participating to the development of agriculture value chain.
The call was made by various Pan-Africanists who graced the session whose theme was: “Youth as Key Drivers to Sustainable Food Security.”
Addressing participants to the meeting, Brian Kagoro, Founder and Executive Director of UHAI Africa Group, a Pan African Governance, Leadership and Development consulting firm said that the meeting is a call about the value of Africa in the agricultural value chain and human consumption.
“Agriculture is about competitive and comparative advantage at the national and international level”. We cannot talk only food security but food sovereignty against slavery, this is the key for Africa, Africans need homegrown solution we need to produce food that can limit imports (these imports are our production that go out of the continent for adding value and packaging which return in Africa for sale) and maximize export production.” Kagoro said, adding that the problems of Africans were solved by political will and nationalism in the history of the continent.
He said that Africans need to develop agriculture value chain, industries and factories, to build infrastructures for food storage and to develop health systems.
“Moreover, we need collective Investments of finance, Researchers of science and Policy harmonization. There are many Strategies to adopt in order to sustain food security namely; Hybrid intermediaries and stakeholders, formations of People’s cooperation, add Value change, teach agriculture as business issue and also enhance Policies that are enabling industries to emerge in the market.” Kakoro noted.
Mr. Shyaka Micheal NYARWAYA PAM Youth Commissioner Rwanda Chapter applauded the PAM – Rwanda Youth commission for initiating and organizing the program.
He recommended Africans to be led by expectation, insistence, transformation, advocacy and advancement in agriculture sector.
“Food security is expected to achieve zero hunger, therefore we need political will, investment, harmonized cost and harmonized restriction. Today we are talking about the role of youth as key drivers to sustainable food security in this fourth Africa expect youth series as far as concerned. I recommend several things that must lead us to food security in Rwanda and Africa today to note them; expectation, insistence, transformation, advocacy and advancement in agriculture sector.” Nyarwaya said.
Mr. Regis Umugiraneza Founder and Director of CARL Group Ltd, a company that adds value to nutritious sweet potato for products including breads said that there is a lot of challenges that Africa faces today including huge wasted food and malnutrition, noting that these challenges can encourage youth to take advantage to transform the wasted food into more processed types of products.
He said that Rwanda committed to making the youth the driver of agriculture development and food security by establishing and supporting a Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness Forum (RYAF) which was incepted in 2016 and currently working with more than 12,000 members.
Umugiraneza said that the government I establishing the manufacturing facility to help the industry recover from the Covid-19 pandemic by providing incentives for agribusiness.
“The requirements to get funding from such initiative include having $10 million for other manufacturers compared to only $100,000 for agro-processors. This shows how the Government of Rwanda is committed to promote and also to emphasize food security by reducing imports by increasing local production, but also increasing exports,” he said.
Speaking about his daily job of potatoes processing, Umugiraneza said: “when we engaged in this field we wanted to add value to the production of potatoes because of surplus production especially in Musanze, Nyaruguru, Nyabihu to mention few, we also wanted to satisfy the market with value added production”. He noted.
Mr.Twahirwa Diego Managing Director Gashora Farms Chill And Chill Products, Producer And Exporter said that youth should take the lead in in reducing unemployment and creating innovations as they constitute a big number of global population.
“Today data shows how 60% are youth continentally which means youth can be able to take advantage of this percentage by reducing unemployment and also innovate, in agriculture is where you can start with little you have.” Twahirwa said.
Asmae Boureddaya, Special advisor to the CEO of the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) on Engagement with Private Sector and Resources Mobilization said that Africa is in safe hands and commended His Excellency President of the Republic of Rwanda Paul KAGAME for his hand in blue print A.U. and vision orientation.
“This is an innovative initiation African youth expect more series here to unite us, to let no one behind. Agriculture is full of potential, let’s approach the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) to integrate our markets, support rural African initiatives through working together.” Noted Asmae Boureddaya.
Karima Rhanem, CEO of Africa My Home who was the meeting moderator said that there is more need of promotion and innovation in production of food for demand and supply in order to secure the continent with satisfied food.
According to Dr. Mariam Gamal Amine Geris, Nutritionist and Health Educator, youth are the important people in community and baseline people for community.
She called youth to engage themselves in development of new technologies in order increase agriculture production.
“I recommend Intra-Africa to integrate Africans in common education so that they come up together with ideas that can unite us as Africans.” She noted.
Asmae Boureddaya, Special advisor to the CEO of the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD)
Mr. Regis Umugiraneza Founder and Director of CARL Group Ltd, a company that adds value to nutritious sweet potato for products
Managing director at ZIMA Enterprise
Mr. Shyaka Micheal NYARWAYA PAM Youth Commissioner Rwanda Chapter
The Express News