Dr Ngirente calls for more involvement of youth in Africa’s agricultural development

By Nicole Kamanzi M.
On 9 September 2020 at 09:28

The Prime Minister, Dr Edouard Ngirente, has said that African youth should be immensely involved in the development of the agricultural sector, especially when it comes to the use of ICTs.

The premier made the remarks on Tuesday when more than 10,000 people attended a virtual conference on agricultural development in Africa, hosted by Rwanda.

Besides the virtual participants, about a hundred people gathered at the Kigali Convention Center to exchange views on the future of the continent.

Dr Ngirente, while officially opening the 10th Summit called on the youth to be given a special place in the development of Africa through agriculture.

“The African continent has a population of 1.2 billion and over 60 percent of the population is under the age of 25. This large number of African youth is the foundation for changing the agricultural sector on this continent, only these young Africans do not see the agricultural sector as an opportunity for profitability and development; so it is important that we continue to highlight the challenges that remain in this regard, attracting young people, especially through the use of technology in agricultural development,” appealed Dr. Ngirente.

Ngirente said Rwanda has set long term development frameworks, rural-urban linkages through integrated development plans which is reflected in a new 30-year development strategy for the period up to 2050 (Vision 2050).

“For this, we are increasing investments in research and innovations. These will generate and disseminate new technologies to boost the overall agricultural production,” Ngirente said.

Ngirente said that specifically 47.2% of the country’s land surface has been allocated for agriculture and livestock in the new revised land use master plan which was launched in September to boost agriculture activities.

He said that there will be increased agricultural production to build a well-functioning rural sector which will support the value chain.

The African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) Board Chairman also former Ethiopian Prime Minister , Hailemariam Desalegn has hailed Rwanda for taking lead in transforming agricultural growth on the continent.

Desalegn said that Africa’s drive to fuel agriculture at the heart of economic transformation is needed but only a few countries on the continent have managed to invest their resources in this direction.

“Few countries have demonstrated this as well as Rwanda which seems to be recognized by the African Union once again, as a county most on-track with the desired progress in the agriculture sector,” he said.

AGRF says that a $250billion market per year leveraging Urban Food Markets to Achieve Sustainable Food Systems in Africa, is a call to action to rethink our food systems to deliver resilient, better nourished, and more prosperous outcomes for all.

“We need food systems that are equitable, sustainable, resilient, and capable of meeting the global challenges of malnutrition, poverty and climate change as well as be responsive to emerging and unforeseen challenges – such as those posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. We must not relent in our effort to transform food systems for the benefit of everyone,” said Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of AGRA and Special Envoy to the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit.

The summit is to be held from 8 – 11 September 2020 with over 10,000 participants logging online due to the Coronavirus crisis, and experts expected to discuss this year’s theme “Feeding The Cities Grow the Continent”, in various platforms which will tackle use of agro technology, trade and food chains.

Ngirente said Rwanda has set long term development frameworks, rural-urban linkages through integrated development plans