FAO is organizing a conference on Youth in Agriculture as a Solid Solution to ending Hunger and Poverty in Africa – Engaging through Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Entrepreneurship. The conference takes place in Kigali, Rwanda on August 20 and 21.
Over sixty percent of Africa’s estimated 1.2 billion people are under the age of 25; yet with little job creation currently in the rural areas where the majority of the population resides, there is a growing uncertainty over the continent’s preparedness to tap this resource. Tens of millions of jobs will have to be created each year in rural areas for Africa to harness the dividends of this youthful population.
Considering agriculture as an essential driver of economic development and an area of great opportunities for young people in Africa, harnessing opportunities in agribusiness entrepreneurship and innovations, including in ICT innovations, along the value chains, contributes to improving the sector’s image, increases productivity and returns to investment and provides new employment opportunities, hence attracting more young people.
The conference aims to foster an exchange among stakeholders on knowledge and best practices regarding the interfaces between agriculture, youth employment, entrepreneurship, ICT innovations, leading to prioritizing interventions going forward.
- Youth and entrepreneurship
- Digital solutions to overcome agriculture value-chain related constraints
- Future of Agriculture Work
Parallel to the main conference, will be three main side events:
Digital Innovation track
Boot camp events to engage youth on new innovations, elevate innovation and deliver a results-oriented approach.
Three complementary innovation teams – #HackAgainstHunger, #AgriBootCamp, #AgriPitch– will be launched prior to the conference to aspire young innovators.
The camps will harness new technologies, mentor young entrepreneurs, explore and accelerate innovative ideas, raise seed money for startups and spark conversations between young innovators, market experts, and potential investors.
The top three Hacker teams will present their pitch.
Prior to and during the conference, to ultimately involve more youth, a virtual consultation would be set up through a youth in agriculture platform. The virtual consultation will obtain inputs and views from the youth in the thematic areas and be engaged in the interactive sessions. Videos will also be streamed; post-conference interviews and other types of media coverage will be considered.
Exhibition of innovative products and services
An exhibition of innovative products and services for agriculture and rural development by youth and youth-led organizations from across Africa will be organised, as well as a networking/match making space for the youth and potential investors.