Youth in Africa-YPARD

From agknowledgeafrica ilriwikis

Youth and Agknowledge sharing in Africa

Organizers/ Focal Point(s)

  • Courtney Paisley- YPARD Coordinator
  • Maureen Agena -Women of Uganda Network
  • Grace Mwaura - ICRAF/VVOB
  • Nadia Manning-Thomas. CGIAR ICT-KM/ILRI

Some outputs

rss url="" link="true" number="10"

Aims of the session

This FGD would focus on the role of youth and young professionals in agricultural and rural development knowledge sharing. The one and half hours session will focus on:

  • What are the youth doing in terms of Agknowledge in Africa?
  • What new opportunities do the youth bring to Agknowledge in Africa?


  • Courtney Paisley, the new YPARD Coordinator, to organise this FGD.
  • Maureen Agena to lead a discussion on "Youth Hubs for sharing rural information through technology"
  • Grace Mwaura, from Healthy Learning Programme (ICRAF/VVOB) to share success stories of agricultural knowledge sharing at school level in Kenya
  • Shujaaz.FM - Kenya youth project discussion session


A. Agenda for the session 1. Youth hubs for knowledge sharing (Chaired by Maureen) (C)Using a show of hands a flipchart as the group

  • Where do you go to access information?
  • Where do you go to share information?
  • Where do you go to exchange information?
  • How to access/measure the impact of your message?

(GR) Provide information on different types of social media for these purposes. Analyze the difference between using things like research cooperatives and LinkedIn vs. Facebook.

(C) How do youth share knowledge differently than older professionals? (i.e. more innovative methods which change quicker). What are the benefits of using these methods over more traditional methods?

(C) Is there room for youth to teach senior professionals more effective ways of sharing knowledge? Can anyone share experiences on how this has been/can be done? Is there an Intergenerational platform for sharing agricultural knowledge in Africa? Is it effective? (C) What problems have youth faced in accessing information? (i.e. Authority/cost barriers to purchasing quality research). How can we work to overcome these

2. Agriculture and Curriculum and its relevance to Africa (chaired by Courtney) (GI) Mapping - Gap analysis (contributions from the group)

  • Curricula in Africa and in universities where African youth go to -how relevant are they?
  • What opportunities exist to enhance the agriculture curricula in Africa?
  • Are there lessons to be learned from the rest of the world to make agricultural education more effective?

(GI) Sharing experiences

  • The dynamism in African rural livelihoods and the tenacity of African youth -is it a problem at all?
  • What lessons are there to learn in Africa about effective employment of the young professionals in Agriculture?
  • What mechanisms shall be followed to make agricultural knowledge of the youth dynamic and relevant to the important economic sectors in Africa?

(GR) Why we need to promote agriculture at a young age. Case studies from ICRAF and shared experiences. (Grace)

(GI) Brokering - the way forward

  • Shaping the future of agricultural education in Africa
  • Making agricultural research and education dynamic

'3. 'Institutional and Financial Incentives for young professionals (Courtney)

Mapping-gap analysis

(GI) What institutional (security) and financial (income) incentives are there for young professionals in Africa? o Are the young professional secured enough to try new innovations? o Do they have the assurance to learn by doing?

(GI) Sharing – experience Sharing · What institutional and financial incentives are there which can be relevant to African context?

(GI) Brokering – the way forward · Identifying and contextualizing institutional and financial incentives for young professionals in Agriculture?


  • Courtney Paisley- YPARD Coordinator
  • Maureen Agena - WOUGNET
  • Grace Mwaura - ICRAF/VVOB
  • Nadia Manning-Thomas- CGIAR ICT-KM/ILRI

C. Knowledge Sharing technique used (if any):

Mapping Discussion Case studies


ShujaazFM from Kenya


The youth focussed group discussion § There is a huge challenge with youth participation especially with youth volunteerism where its either not valued by most institutions or the volunteers are not facilitated to do the work § How do make agriculture ‘cool’ for the young generation? 24.4 M Kenyans are below 24 years; 7.9 M are between 15-24 years while 16.5 M are between 0-15 years, This being the case in most African countries, how to do we make the topic of agriculture interesting for the generation that will require to produce food in the next decade? § The 4K clubs in Kenyan schools are good examples of how to make agriculture interesting. They encourage more experiential learning on agriculture and food production making learning more exciting and practical. § What’s the role of parents in helping their children and youth develop interest in agriculture? § Young parents and youth who have been trained and working in other sectors know completely nothing about agriculture or the source of food, how then do we then make them interested in agriculture not only as a source of food but also as a viable business that they can engage in? § At what point do we need the attitude change, right at the lower level school or during the college level? Who needs to change the attitude? The parents or the youth? What makes the youth have a negative attitude is mainly due to a parental influence when they were young and thus changing this requires efforts at all levels of their development. § The lack of involvement of youth in agriculture is not only a land issue: it’s an attitude issue, it’s a personality issue and it’s a patience issue. § We are encouraging youth to get into entrepreneurship but not in agribusiness? Why and how can we change this? § Case study from KARI National Banana Association- a parent from Murang’a has educated her daughter at Makerere university in Uganda, with the growing and selling of tissues culture bananas. Even though the daughter is now going to UK, she has been motivated enough and will come back to continue with farming tissue culture bananas in Murang’a with her parents. § Journalism and agriculture maybe more appealing to youth across Africa- where we broadcast and showcase youth best practices? § Land ownership and the youth issue: Fathers decide what to do with the land and when youth come back to work there, they become slaves on the farm. This is not appealing enough for them. They are not in control of the farms and will keep shying away from the farm or any other activity where they are not allowed to own the project. Where parents invest in educating children and encouraging them to move away from the farm, but when they fail they come back to be slaves on the farm which they were initially not taught to develop interest. § FAO Farmer Field Schools- most farmers are illiterate; though these schools they are trained in sustainable agriculture skills and can practice them in the farms which can also be replicated to other farms. Are they well packaged to attract youth? § Documentation of lessons learnt from youth who are already engaging in agriculture and rural development will be one way to motivate other youth across Africa to get involved. § Commercializing agriculture best practices- it does not really matter where the money comes from § Agricultural research and education needs to be up scaled and made friendly to the youth, how? § Mentors and coachers for inspiring the youth to get involved in agriculture, how? Any best practices existing? § Off farm youth activities and businesses like rural internet cafes, agricultural marketing facilities and resource centres- are they not still keeping the youth away from the real dirty work? How effective are they? § Who is going to grow all the food that the country needs if we are still pushing the children and youth out of the farm? Our illiterate parents who are getting older? § Is there money in farming? Are youth patient enough to wait for this money? § Do we need more research to support youth in agriculture? The right research? Maybe we have done enough research? § Using other youth as role models in agriculture? The unknown youth and making use of media to make them known § Youth have the most huge capacity in innovation and capacity, which we now need to direct to sustainable agriculture § How do we bridge the gap between agriculture and social stuff among youth? § Cross pollination of ideas is required § Funding- loans not available for the youth (but how do they start these other businesses?) § Value chains § Quality controls § Agriculture is never a first choice for students going to the university, thus they study it without a passion. How and when can we change this? § Making agriculture romantic? § Making the land more productive? And what’s the role of youth? § Innovation and business model conflicts in Kenya- people don’t want o disclose and share not to lose their market