The African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources organized the Pan African Conference for the African Youth in Livestock, Fisheries and Aquaculture Incubators Network (AYL-FAIN) from 25 to 27 July 2018 at Safir Hotel in Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt. Prior to the conference, an incubation management Training of Trainers programme was facilitated by the African Agribusiness Incubators Network (AAIN) from 23rd to 24th July 2018 as part of the partnership arrangement between AU-IBAR and AAIN. The objectives of the conference were to adopt operating procedures including statutes of AYL-FAIN, develop regional business plans and elect regional, continental executives and to launch AYL-FAIN.
His Excellency Prof Dr. Ezz El Din Abostate, Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation for Egypt opened the conference and also launched the following networks/associations:
- Association of Veterinary Education Establishments (2A2E-V)
- Association of African Veterinary Statutory Bodies (2AVSB)
- African youth in livestock, fisheries and aquaculture incubation network (AYL-FAIN)
- African women in animal resources farming and agribusiness network (AWARFA-N)
The Director of AU-IBAR, Prof Ahmed Elsawalhy also read a statement on behalf of the Commissioner of Rural Economy and Agriculture, Her Excellency Josefa Sacko.
The Conference was attended by 70 youth from 44 African Union member states from Eastern, Central, Southern, Western and Northern Africa. The countries present at the conference were (Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Cote d’ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Mali, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe). There were also representatives from The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Trust Africa, International Business Driving Licence (IBDL).
Exactly a year ago, through support from AU-IBAR and AAIN, AYL-FAIN was conceptualized in Dakar, Senegal. Our vision was to establish a continental youth network that will be the leading forum for supporting investment and business start-ups in livestock, fisheries and aquaculture. This call was very urgent especially recognizing that of the 400 million youth in Africa, over 40% were not employed or underemployed. This week, we have witnessed the realization of the establishment of our network.
Outcome of the Conference
- Elected 13 Continental AYL-FAIN Executive Board Members of 8 elected executive members [President, Mr. Jean Baptiste Hategimana (Rwanda), Vice President, Mr. Divine Ntiokam (Cameroon), Secretary General Ms. Amukelani Mayimele (South Africa), Financial Controller Ms. Aminata Diakite (Mali), Business and Planning Investment Ms. Emna Jelassi (Tunisia), Membership & Networking Ms. Msekiwa Matsimbe (Malawi), International Affairs Ms Helen Mbabazi (Uganda) and Publicity & Media Mr. Paul Atsu (Ghana)], and 5 elected regional presidents [(Mr.Toi N’feide (Togo, Western Africa), Mr.Benjamin Musungu (Kenya, Eastern Africa), Ms. Precious Muzhiwo (Zambia, Southern Africa), Mr. Eduardo Ndjoku (Equatorial Guinea, Central Africa), Dr Nader Mohammed Hassan Elkhouly (Egypt, Northern Africa).
- Elected 25 Regional Executive members into various positions.
- Adopted the statutes of the Network as presented with the view that any further amendment will be made at the 2nd General Assembly of AYL-FAIN.
- Developed 5 business plans that will be finalized and used as the blue print for incubation activities in the respective regions.
- Agreed to profile and establish a database for Youth agribusinesses in animal resources to support incubation activities across the continent.
Within our Network, we already have young people who are engaged in viable enterprises (e.g. in cattle rearing and ICT) that are creating jobs for other youths. So we want to assure our Governments and all development partners that the animal resource sector is worth investing in. The African youth is worth investing in. We are determined to leverage your support to address the unemployment in the continent which is leading to mass migration of young talented Africans to unknown lands for greener pastures which do not exist. The members of AYL-FAIN:
- Pledge our commitment to use the network as a spring board for promoting inclusive youth engagement in Africa’s Animal Resource Sector for job and wealth creation.
- Are ready to engage at the national and regional levels to ensure that all young people are brought on board.
- Will initiate the formation of national youth networks in their respective countries.
We recognize that operating functional national AYL-FAIN networks is what will give effect to this continental Network we have launched this week. On this note:
- We call on our respective Ministries responsible for Animal Resources to support us and facilitate the establishment and official recognition of national AYL-FAIN chapters.
- We challenge you as esteemed leaders of Veterinary Education Establishment to support our vision by providing us with the education and training that will enable us to compete and remain relevant in a rapidly changing animal resource sector.
- We also call on our Veterinary Statutory Bodies to continue providing the enabling policy and institutional environments for inclusive integration of the youth into animal resource value chains.
- We call on AU-IBAR and partners to support the establishment of Regional Incubation hubs and Small Scale Incubation Hubs across the continent to drive the job creation agenda of AYL-FAIN.
- We also call on other development partners to engage and support the youth in business Incubation, value addition and access to markets.
The African Youth thank the Government and people of the Arab Republic of Egypt for hosting the Conference. We also we wish to express our appreciation to AU-IBAR, AAIN and all Partners for the great leadership they have shown and continue to demonstrate towards supporting the integration of the youth into viable animal resource value chain.