The African Agribusiness Incubators Network (AAIN), in its vision to be the hub of innovation for African Agribusiness Incubation will be holding the AAIN Conference tagged: “Turning Science into Business: Inclusive Agribusiness Incubation for Vibrant Economies in Africa” between the 4th and 6th October, 2016 at the Accra International Conference Centre. This was stated by Dr. Alex Ariho, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AAIN in a press conference held to sensitize the media and general public in Accra, Ghana.
The press conference gave an overview of the meeting, explained why the focus is on Agribusiness and also gave the wider Ghanaian community the chance to showcase their agribusiness innovations towards jobs and wealth creation as a host country.
In his address, the Deputy Minister, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) Ghana, Dr. Alhassan Ahmed Yakubu said the Ministry will give its total support to the programme and encouraged the youths to participate because; “it will enlighten them to become employers and not just being employed”. He enjoined the youths to be organized as a constituency and spoke of on-going plans to establish common laws that will guide agriculture and its business thereby, encouraging more profitability for the entire West Africa.
Mr. Dan Acquaye, Executive Director, Agri-impact Consult, Ghana and Financial Secretary, AAIN Board said Africa has the youngest youths in the world hence, the next phase of Africa’s Agriculture is to find work for the African Youth. World leaders and policy makers therefore, will converge at the AAIN conference to address this issue.
Ms. Angela Dannson, Director, Projects Co-ordination Unit at the Ghana Ministry of Food and Agriculture said the conference will re-focus, support and promote youths in agriculture thereby, hyping the production of agriculture in Africa.
Agriculture should be seen as the most serious element to improve every economy. Nana Osei Bonsu, the CEO of Private Enterprise Federation (PEF) expressed his view that: “a small holder farmer is a business person. Youths don’t see Agriculture as a business opportunity but as a punishment”.
Speaking on behalf of the women, Ms. Nana Adjoa, CEO Guza Kuza emphasized that the environment must create friendly policies for the women and youth. She therefore called for support from various stakeholders to assist in capacity building and engage more young women in agriculture. She further encouraged competition through youth awards for the best agricultural innovation entrepreneur and more youth participation in the policy making.
Further in his remarks, Dr. Alex Ariho explained that the conference will affect the youths through the attraction of investment, incubating incubators, development of new models in innovative financing; currency issues and regional integration, mega-trends and agribusiness opportunities in Africa, global partnerships and networks for agricultural value chains development among others.
Keynote speakers expected at the conference include; H.E John Dramani Mahama, President Republic of Ghana, H.E Rhoda Peace Tumisiime, AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President, Afdb; Alh. Aliko Dangote, President and CEO Dangote Group, Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo, Executive Director of FARA, Dr. Kanayo F. Nwaze, Exeecutive President of IFAD with leaders from organizations like FAO, USAID and AGRA.
AAIN is supported by FARA under the Universities, Businesses and Research on Agribusiness Innovation (UniBrain) programme with the core mandate of strengthening agribusiness incubation capacity as well as commercializing agricultural technologies and innovation in Africa.
The AAIN Conference hashtag is #AAINTSB. For more information and registration, click here.