IITA has disclosed that over 40,000 young Nigerians will benefit from Young Africa Works – a project training program with a special focus on skills development, decent employment, and entrepreneurship opportunities to secure work in agri-food value chains for the next five years.
This disclosure was made in a press release issued by Katherine Lopez, the Institute’s Head of Communication, on Monday the 23rd of November 2020.
The project training program is an initiative birthed from the partnership between Mastercard Foundation and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture through the Young Africa Works – IITA Project.
The Young Africa Works – IITA Project, has been launched through a call for application to young women and men between 18 and 35 years, living in Lagos, Kano, or Kaduna.
This will provide young people with the opportunity to grow their businesses, focusing on agribusiness development and mentoring on modern farming and value addition techniques.
Through this project, young people will also be exposed to agriculture, product marketing skills, market linkages, and career orientation through job placements and internship opportunities.
What they are saying
Speaking about the importance of the project and the relevance of agriculture in creating opportunities for young people, Chidinma Lawanson, Country Head for Nigeria, Mastercard Foundation, said that agriculture is among the most viable potential source of employment for young people in Africa.
“The Young Africa Works partnership with IITA will make the agricultural sector more attractive to young people, particularly women, by providing skills training in the agriculture value chain for employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.”
Why this matters
The project is expected to bridge the gap in establishing viable agri-business enterprises between youths and potential employers in the agricultural sector.
The initiative is expected to support young women – 70% of all participants, with the special opportunity to enhance their participation and adopt entrepreneurship.
In highlighting women’s participation, the training and the project seeks to create productive partnerships between young men and women and apply a gender-based approach to address some of the challenges faced by young women in the agri-business sector in Nigeria.
What this means
Participants will acquire both business and soft skills that will facilitate their integration into the professional field, as this year’s training will cover the following value chains: maize, soybean, rice, horticulture, orange-fleshed sweet potato, groundnut, aquaculture, and poultry.
What you should know
In May, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) partnered with the Mastercard Foundation to start the Young Africa Works – IITA Project, an innovative approach to agri-business training and start-up for Nigeria’s young people.
This project was developed in consultation with young people, policymakers, educators, and entrepreneurs, as part of the Mastercard Foundation’s strategy to enable 30 million young people in Africa to access dignified and fulfilling work over the next 10 years.
To start an application, visit www.youthagripreneurs.org/young-africa-works-iita