Youth takes the lead at iLead summit

10 Apr 2013

The African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership’s (AFAP) West Africa Regional Director, Pierre Brunache Jnr gave a presentation to more than 100 tertiary students at the iLead Summit in Ghana on the 30 of March.

With a central focus on ‘Opportunities for African Youth in Agribusiness’, Brunache urged the youth to explore the vast agribusiness prospects presented by the African agricultural landscape. “It is time for  young Africans to take up the agribusiness opportunities presented by the development in fertilizer, improved seeds and soil, cash and staple crops, and livestock,” Brunache told the young participants.

The one day event organized by the International Youth Council addressed issues of social and economic innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership and youth development by bringing together youth from across the continent to engage in conversation.

Brunache focused his presentation on the untapped agribusiness opportunities in Africa which he stressed would be the key to reducing poverty and improving the livelihoods of many Africans. “We are now counting on the youth to spearhead social and economic growth in the continent and they need to understand that a stronger focus on agribusiness is one of the ways in which this will be possible”.

“More than ever, young Africans need to consider agribusiness activities,” Brunache said. “Government, donors, philanthropists, and financial institutions should establish an enabling environment to help the youth create and manage these agribusiness ventures,” he said.

“Summits such as this one are critical,” according to him, participants at the summit are future voters, managing directors, politicians and policy-makers. “It is important that we provide opportunities for intergenerational exchange of views that will foster mutual understanding between the young and the old,” he said.

Many youths who were present at the summit said they sponged as much as they could from Brunache’s talk. “I did not consider agribusiness until Pierre’s presentation, it pulled my interest into agriculture and I realised that with more focus, I can concentrate on agriculture,” said Abubakar Nuhuman, a second year student at the Ghana Technology University College

Eli Kumah who also attended said,“I agree with Pierre’s idea that there is money in our continent. It made me realise that the money is not in the cities but in the villages.”

“The youth should get involved in corporate social responsibility initiatives and stay informed by reading,” he advised, “You will increase income, food security, and help improve the living conditions of the African smallholder farmers”.