A three-day agripreneurship workshop organised by the National Youth Authority (NYA)with support from Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) for hundreds of youth in the agriculture value chain is underway in Accra.
The participants were educated by Young Agripreneur Champions who shared their knowledge in the respective commodity value chains such as rabbit, aquaculture, snail, mushroom, fruits and vegetables, among others.
The workshop also brought together key stakeholders with enormous experience of work in youth development within the public and private sectors to contribute to provide skills development, entrepreneurial support, business advisory services, access to competitive credit and starter packs to the youth in agriculture and agribusinesses.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop on Wednesday 22, May 2022, the FAO Representative to Ghana (OiC), Ndiaga Gueye says the agripreneurship workshop is using the Youth to Youth approach which can be very effective in sharing knowledge and experience, and encouraging the adoption of new practices and technologies among the youth.
“With the high number of youth in our presence, looking smart and eager to learn, it is my expectation that at the end of this 3 day programme, over 50% of you would have gotten the interest and willingness to start at least one of the commodity value chains activities”.
In support of Government efforts and other developmental agendas on youth employment, FAO and UNIDO developed a joint programme in partnership with the NYA to accelerate efforts in the area of job creation for youth through agribusiness and entrepreneurship development, he says.
“Highlighting the central role of the agriculture value chain for the country’s development, it is considered the most feasible job creation and youth development potential, especially for women”.
The youth employment challenge in Ghana, like other African countries, is vast and requires a multifaceted, deliberate, and consistent response, Mr Gueye notes.
Data from the Ghana Living Standards Survey 7 (GLSS7) puts the unemployment rate at 28.1%. The World Bank also projected that, given the country’s growing youth population, 300,000 new jobs would need to be created each year to absorb the increasing numbers of unemployed young people.
It is crucial to address the issue of youth unemployment through entrepreneurial development in achieving the 2030 Global Development Agenda and the AU Agenda 2063 which provides the youth with opportunities to be integrated in national development at all levels and empowered to achieve their full potential while being recognized as resilient and positive agents of change, according to him.
Mr Gueye notes that the government has rolled out several interventions including revamping the Youth Employment Agency, resourcing the National Youth Authority (NYA), and operationalization of the recently launched youth job creation programme, YouStart.
The YouStart programme is expected to support young entrepreneurs to access capital, training, technical skills, and mentoring to operate their businesses.
The UNIDO and the NYA representatives urged participants to take advantage of the workshop to venture into the agriculture industry to better their lots.
Africa, a continent of tremendous wealth and enormous untapped potential has the youngest population in the world with over 750 million people under the age of 35.
Harnessing this young growing working-age population is expected to drive Africa’s economic transformation. However, the majority of youth do not have secure work or stable economic opportunities.
African Eye Report