My expectations are high after the Young Professionals in Agricultural Development (YPARD)’s meeting at the Young Africa Works Summit (YAW) 2017 in Kigali, Rwanda.
I was privileged to be among the youth selected to participate in the Young Africa Works Summit 2017 as a youth delegate. I got a chance to partake in a series of capacity building activities as we learned soft skills in networking, pitching, giving and receiving feedback among others. The experience was so exciting especially the Pre-Summit Workshop at Marriott, Kigali.
The theme for this year’s summit focused on the youth at the center of agricultural transformation in Africa. And since I attended the workshops with YPARD at YAWS and met this highly energized group of fellow young delegates, I envision how the promising the future of agricultural transformation is. Based on the momentum I observe among the young people in agriculture today, the exciting opportunity given by the YPARD platform and overall program with projects like long term mentoring, I predict a very promising agricultural sector in Africa. Still echoing in my ears is a very powerful statement a Ugandan participant made during the summit: Stop making young people beneficiaries of agriculture rather than participants.
John F. Kennedy once said, “Things don’t just happen, things are made to happen.” I have observed how we young people are hard working to achieve agricultural transformation- to make it happen. You will be delighted to find out about very innovative ventures like CARL Group Ltd and HABONA Ltd. from Rwanda, KAD Africa from Uganda, Africa Rabbit Center in Kenya– to mention a few. The founders of these companies are young people energized to fight for this transformation. My knowledge of such initiatives as well as exposure to the opportunities YPARD network provides has changed my perception about agribusiness. You should participate in capacity building programmes such as the Young Africa Works summit to feel the energy I feel today. The vision the youth shares about agriculture is the energy behind the agricultural sector today.
With all I have gained from the pre-summit and summit activities, I am stepping out confidently to improve Real Gold Ltd- my organic banana farm. I am going to make a difference.
I am thankful to YPARD for giving me the chance to be enrolled in their long-term mentoring program. My expectations continue to be high. Do you feel the energy?
Photo credit: MasterCard Foundation