The African Development Bank (AfDB) has expressed on Tuesday, January 27th its support to the African Union (AU) in implementing Africa’s commitments for an accelerated agricultural growth and transformation. In that vision, the bank will launch a program to orient 800,000 young African graduates to agriculture and agro-industry, a sector which currently employs only 2% of African graduates.
Working with partners, the AfDB will invest in a flagship programme that supports graduate youth engagement in agriculture and in agro-business. The program aims to empower over 800,000 youths in 20 African countries through training in proven agricultural technologies, among other things.
This project will be implemented in 20 countries on the continent, which will focus on the training of these young people. It is part of the new dynamic that the bank wants to bring, particularly to women: “African farmers must be empowered and have access to productive resources, including land and financing,” said the vice -president AfDB, Aly Abou-Sabaa.
AfDB, which now intends to consider agriculture as a business investment, will also focus on irrigation or gender equality in agriculture. These actions are mainly in line with commitments made by the institution at the meeting in Malabo on agriculture and food security in 2014.
The AfDB is also focusing on youth employment in agriculture. Of Africa’s unemployed, 60% are young people, only 2% of Africa’s graduates are employed in agriculture, 40% of Africa’s population already lives in cities, and by 2100, almost 50% of the world’s youth will be African.
Speaking at a high-level event during the 24th AU Summit in Addis Ababa, AfDB Vice-President Aly Abou-Sabaa said the AfDB would bring, with other partners, an innovative financial support to the implementation of the AU Strategy and Roadmap for the realisation of 2014 Malabo commitments on agriculture and food security.