YALIGoesGreen: Agribusiness is Smart Business
The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) is the U.S. Government’s signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders. The YALI Network, one of three program components of the initiative, is an online community of 700,000 young leaders across sub-Saharan Africa that works to address important issues across the continent, primarily linked to business and entrepreneurship, public management and civic engagement. Through digital campaigns, network members learn about these topics, as well as ways they can take action in their communities to begin to effect change.
To promote the importance of inclusive and sustainable agriculture-led economic growth, the YALI Network ran a digital campaign entitled YALIGoesGreen for Agribusiness. The campaign seeks to help create employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in the agricultural sector, which will increase sub-Saharan Africa’s economic prosperity by creating a more food-secure Africa, thereby leading to economic and political stability. YALIGoesGreen for Agribusiness educated YALI Network members on how careers available in the agricultural sector go beyond traditional farming and can create viable and lucrative business ventures, how technology and communications are transforming the agricultural sector and how young people can help advance the agricultural economy.
This campaign had extremely high levels of engagement, demonstrating how well this topic resonated with the network. From the post-campaign survey, we learned that as a result of participation:
- 84% of respondents took action in their communities to support agribusiness. Examples include: connecting local farmers with new markets, starting a community garden, promoting local farmers’ products online, helping farmers form cooperatives and organizing agricultural training sessions.
- 97% of respondents agreed they felt more confident in their ability to impact the agricultural future of their communities.
- 82% of respondents agreed that they felt inspired to pursue opportunities in agribusiness.
As an example of how this campaign benefited network members, a participant from Sierra Leone stated, “I believe this campaign is a footprint in the direction of reducing hunger and poverty in Sierra Leone. Its online course opens the eyes of youths to the many opportunities along the agricultural value chain and how they can master each step in value addition. It also creates awareness on how much the country is losing in the effort to import staple foods when we can grow them ourselves.”
A YALI Network member from Uganda expressed how they were able to start an agribusiness venture after their participation in the campaign: “Many people forget that venturing in agriculture business doesn’t require much capital as long as one has the commitment and desire to engage in agriculture. I thought it would be expensive to set up an agricultural enterprise. After the training provided by the YALI Network, I started a poultry business with 50 birds, which since the start of the project increased to 150 birds. This success story of mine would not have been a reality but a lost cause if it wasn’t for YALI and a team of online agripreneurship mentors.”
If you, or an organization you work with, are interested in using the campaign materials to educate youth in your community on the career possibilities in the realm of agripreneurship, check out the following free YALI Network resources:
- YALI Network Online Course, Agripreneurship: A Path to the Future.
- This three-part course provides information on the various pathways available to young professionals to strengthen the agricultural economy and provide employment opportunities within their communities.
- After taking the course, you can use the companion facilitation guide to organize a facilitated course discussion.
- Blog posts featuring the advice and stories of youth in agriculture.
For more information, you can become a member and follow the YALI Network on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn at @YALINetwork. Tag the YALI Network in your agricultural initiatives by using the hashtag #YALIGoesGreen.