What’s the big Buzz with Youth Engagement ?
Any organization, government or development agency that is not optimizing the huge potential held by the youth as Sub Saharan Africa’s greatest change agents in agriculture is missing out on a very significant opportunity.
The Africa Agriculture Status Report 2016 quotes that over 60 percent of Africa’s population is under the age of 25. Roughly 220 million young people will be entering the labor force between now and 2035 (Filmer & Fox, 2014). Even under the most optimistic projections, wage jobs in Sub Saharan Africa will absorb only 25 percent of these 220 million new workers. Farming and self-employment will be called upon to provide gainful employment for at least 70 percent of young Africans entering the labor force (more than half of whom live in rural areas) till at least 2030.
Kenya is not an exception to these statistics as shown by the following reasons:
- One in every 3 Kenyans is considered a youth
- They represent 60% of the workforce in Kenya
- The Irony is that current youth unemployment is at 64%
With this backdrop, Ojay Greene has become intentional about involving the youth as active game changers in Transforming Agriculture in Kenya.
In 2017 (June to September), Ojay Greene conducted an internship program hosting 8 high potential University students from The University of Nairobi and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology studying Agricultural Economics or Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. The program was designed to immerse these young high potential changemakers into the practical aspects of the Agricultural Value chain in Kenya. Through the program, these students gained insight into the behind the scenes problems that Ojay Greene is working to solve. They began to understand the problems faced by smallholder farmers, as well as the problems faced by buyers and key players in the Agricultural Value chain. With deliberate coaching and mentorship, they were given the opportunity to come up with practical applicable solutions which will be adopted by Ojay Greene as they further engage with smallholder farmers.
The outcome of this program was that it made them realize that they had more potential than they thought they would to become agents of change. Ojay Greene is looking to see how these budding lives will change the landscape of agriculture in Kenya and play a significant role towards SDG #2 and make zero hunger a reality by 2030.
To read more about the stories of how Ojay Greene has impacted young brilliant minds equipping them to become Agricultural changemakers click on the following link: Meet Ojay Greene’s 2017 Brilliant young changemakers in Ag
Do you have what it takes to be a changemaker? Do you want to participate in an intense immersion in practical aspects of Agriculture? If the answer is yes, then send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org