Africa is among the youngest continents in the world, with about 60 percent of the population being below the age of 25 years. While current job growth has not kept pace to maximize the potential of this human capital and the large youthful population has presented as a challenge, it is clear that the same population can stimulate economic development if there is intentional investment in boosting opportunities.
There is consensus that the greatest opportunities for development in Africa lie in the agricultural sector. The value of Africa’s food market is projected to grow to USD 1 trillion by 2030 and currently Africa imports food worth USD 35 billion per year, meaning that there is a huge opportunity for youth to become employed in the agriculture sector.
Under the Partnership for Agricultural Transformation initiative, AGRA has established network of strategic public and private partners to pursue co-investment opportunities across the Alliance’s portfolio. In one such partnership, AGRA has teamed up with Nestlé, a leading food and beverage company to support youth engagement in agribusiness through a joint programme known as the Youth Agripreneurship Development Program (YADIS) in Ghana and Nigeria.
The three current beneficiaries of the programme are CBI Innovations and Psaltry International in Nigeria and Sahel Grains in Ghana
By supporting the businesses with the right skills, improved access to credit and an enabling environment, the programme is not only helping young people become the proud owners of profitable agribusiness enterprises and driving force of agricultural transformation in Africa, it is also helping to address such serious social issues as the rural migration and soaring youth unemployment.