The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in conjunction with Mastercard Foundation has backed the Young Africa Works project to enable youths access dignified work opportunities all over Africa. This project will provides skills in agribusiness and entrepreneurship to not less than 40,000 youths over the next five years. However, there will be recruit of interns for the training each year.
According to MSMEsToday sources, the goal of the project is to have 10 million young Nigerians, with women as priority target, to access opportunities in the agribusiness sector by 2030. Young Africa Works are in partnership with various other organizations in other sectors of the economy to reach this goal.
The skills to be acquired by successful youths include skills in agribusiness development, techniques in value addition, product marketing skills, mentoring, job placements and internship opportunities. With agriculture becoming a valuable and important source of income and economic development, it is important that the youth are more involved in the value chain. The Executive Manager, Young Africa Works -IITA, Aline Musigho, who lauded the project, said that, ‘there can be no development without the youths, and the best way to utilize them is to create opportunities and more youth-led enterprises’.
This year’s training will focus on maize, soybean, rice, horticulture, orange-fleshed sweet potato, groundnut, aquaculture and poultry and its value chain.
IITA is partnering with Africa Projects Development Center to implement the project in Lagos, while Young Africa Works is partnering with Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN), Babban Gona and Sterling Bank. IITA has called for applications from young women and men between 18 – 35 years that reside in Lagos, Kano and Kaduna. Submission of applications will close on 12th December 2020 and the training sessions are scheduled to begin in January 2021.