African Development bank, Forum for Agriculture Research in Africa (FARA), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Alliance for a Green Revolution Africa (AGRA) have joined efforts to combat increasing youth unemployment in Africa through agribusiness incubation. The joint initiative coordinated by African Development bank under the theme ‘Enabling Youth for employment‘ held a stakeholder consultative meeting in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on 28th -29th April 2015. The purpose of the programme is to create options for youth engagement in agribusiness, increase financing mechanisms and networking opportunities for youth engagement in agribusiness, trade and investment along agriculture value chains. During the workshop, Vice President Africa Development Bank (AfDB) Mr. A. Abou-Sabaa and Director Agriculture and agro industry Mr. C. Ojukwu emphasized the bank’s commitment to support private sector engagement in agribusiness and their interest to explore all options for youth focused job creation in partnership with national, regional and international development partners.
FARA UniBRAIN model was identified as one of the successful agribusiness incubation models in Africa and the World with practical options for sustainability, wealth and job creation in Africa by delegates. The participants called upon FARA to work closely with other partners in up scaling and sustaining the initiative in the 54 African countries under its new programme-African Agribusiness Incubation Programme (AAIP) 2016- 2020. FARA will work closely with African Development bank during the implementation of Agriculture and agribusiness strategy 2015 to 2019 in Africa and UniBRAIN model will leverage other continental initiatives propelling agriculture transformation forward.
FARA will join efforts with AGRA and IITA in delivering ENABLE programme in 20 African countries. In the partnership, FARA UniBRAIN will focus on incubating incubators and linking them to African Agribusiness Incubators Network and other global platforms for mutual benefits and synergy building. The FARA team was led by the Executive Director Dr Yemi Akinbamijo, UniBRAIN Facility Coordinator Mr Alex Ariho and Dr Irene Frempong Integrated Capacity Development Division Manager.
The meeting was attended among other by: Dr. Peter Wobst, Senior Economist – Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); Dr. B. JAMA, Director, Soil Health Programme – AGRA; Dr. Aboubakar Njoya, Director of Research & Innovation-CORAF/WECARD; representatives from development partners who comprised of World Bank, Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Netherlands Development Organization (SNV), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), The master card foundation, International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), International Development Research Centre (IDRC) among other dignitaries.