From Malawi to Kigali; My Young Africa Works Summit experience

The second edition of The MasterCard Foundation Young Africa Works Summit took place in Kigali, Rwanda and I was fortunate to be among the youth delegates selected to attend.

The summit that brought close to 300 participants including 47 young people aimed at finding ways to achieve sustainable and meaningful livelihoods for the youth in the Agriculture sector by engaging the youth in the conversation on the future they want. 

But how did I end up here?

Sometime back last year, YPARD Malawi posted an advert on the chapter Facebook group. I submitted a biography in response and after being put through a selection committee, I  was selected to attend the summit as a youth delegate.

My name is Jabulani Nyegere and I am a holder of Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) working with the NEPAD Fish Node at LUANAR as a research assistant. In addition to that, I am also an administrative officer for Youth Action in Agriculture Development in Malawi. This youth program is envisaged to ensure active participation of the youth in agricultural sector under the context that the youth constitute the larger proportion of the population. 

As a young man with passion in Agriculture, I am operating an agri-commodity business through selling and buying of maize and beans as well as value addition of Irish potatoes into local crisps in Malawi. The businesses have provided employment to 15 young people in Malawi. My passion in Agriculture through agribusiness opened the doors to attend the Africa works youth summit which brought youth and other gatekeepers across all disciplines in Agriculture.

The conference preparations started with pre-summit webinar sessions. The webinars helped me to better prepare for the summit through the online discussions on various themes which the conference covered. Speaking of which, the Young Africa Works Summit has planted a seed in my life to do more in agriculture to transform my community and beyond. More specifically, I have learned a lot through success stories and mentorship program such that am starting a piggery center which will give room for youth and women in my community to improve their economic activities and overall the food security. 

Indeed nothing for the youth without the youth! The interaction, the success stories shared and the keynote messages have strengthened me to take more action to ensure that the youth are engaged in issues affecting them through entrepreneurship, technology, and policy. In this regard, I would like to thank YPARD for the opportunity given to attend the Youth summit and may such opportunities reaching out to more youth who have a passion for agriculture as I do.

Photo credit: Illume for The MasterCard Foundation