The African Union's InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) held an Expert meeting on Youth in Livestock, Fisheries and Aquaculture Agribusiness from 5th to 6th February 2018 in Le Ndiambour Hotel, Dakar, Senegal.
The meeting was part of AU-IBAR’s strategic programme aimed at unleashing the capacity of Africa's young women and men to effectively participate in the modernization of Africa’s agricultural sector for improved food security, economic development and poverty reduction through engagement in viable livestock, fisheries and aquaculture agribusinesses. Recognizing that Africa has the youngest population in the world, AU-IBAR’s philosophy remains that the youth present a unique force for driving Africa’s agricultural transformation by harnessing the potentials in animal resources (livestock, fisheries and wildlife). In this regard, AU-IBAR and the African Agricultural Incubators Network (AAIN) are partnering to deploy agribusiness solutions through youth-led livestock, fisheries and aquaculture business startups and incubators.
The meeting was opened by Dr. Baboucarr Jaw, Chief Animal Health Officer at AU-IBAR and attended by youth from Ethiopia, Mali, Nigeria, Malawi, Kenya, Senegal and Uganda as well as facilitators from AAIN.
The Overall objective of the meeting was to support the youth to discuss a continental investment programme for supporting young people to engage in enterprising livestock, fisheries and aquaculture value chains. Prior to this February 2018 meeting, AU-IBAR through the EU-funded Veterinary Governance Programme had organized in collaboration with AAIN, a Youth in livestock agribusiness conference in Dakar, in September 2017. One of the main outcomes of the September 2017 conference was the formation of the African Youth in Livestock, Fisheries and Aquaculture Agribusiness Incubation Forum and the election of Executives for the Forum.
The following were the outcomes of the February 2018 Youth Expert Meeting:
- Priority areas of investment for engaging youth identified
- Governance and management structure, communication and action plan for the African Youth in Livestock, Fisheries and Aquaculture Agribusiness Incubation Forum drafted
- Recommendations for organizing the AU-IBAR Youth Conference in Cairo in July 2018 proposed.
The technical sessions of the Expert Meeting were facilitated by Mr. John Oppong-Otoo, Food Safety Officer at AU-IBAR, Dr. Alex Ariho, CEO AAIN and Mr. Peter Kuria Director Business Development and Partnerships, AAIN.
The meeting was organized through the European Union-Funded Live2Africa Programme being implemented by AU-IBAR. Live2Africa programme is aimed at creating greater economic and employment opportunities for people in rural areas by strengthening systemic capacity of continental, regional and national Livestock Sector stakeholders in order to achieve a significant increase in livestock production and productivity in Africa. Live2Africa gives a strong priority to livestock sustainability, looking closer on how climate change affects livestock systems, improving resilience of farmers and livestock keepers and developing gender sensitive intervention.