AfDB and partners empowers African youth in cassava value chain

Hohoe, The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Brazil-Africa Institute (BAI) have launched the Youth Technical Training Programme (YTTP) to empower the youth to contribute to the food value chain in Africa.

The initiative aims to train young African professionals in research and technology transfer, contributing to local capacity development.

The YTTP initiative is sponsored under the South�South Cooperation Trust Fund (SSCTF) and will consist of an array of professional development schemes to meet diverse needs of African countries by utilizing Brazil’s technology, skills and knowledge.

A press release made available to the Ghana News Agency, the AfDB said the focus areas include agriculture and rural development, health, education, information and communication, infrastructure, and the creative industry.

The parties on Thursday announced the commencement of the training of African youth for rewarding careers in cassava processing.

The first batch of the YTTP training, which was flagged off at the AfDB headquarters in Abidjan, CAte d’Ivoire, targets 30 young African professionals (between the ages of 18 and 35) of the cassava value-chain selected from 14 countries.

The trainees will receive two months training on the production chain of cassava at the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA) – a state-owned centre in Brazil.

The cassava training initiative was launched in close collaboration with the Brazil-Africa Institute, the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).

Cassava is considered crucial to the food security of millions of people in Sub-Saharan Africa.

It said most technologies developed in Brazil, especially those which relate to agriculture, are relevant for Africa. In addition, there is an increasing demand for Brazilian technology applicable to the African context.

Speaking at the launch of the YTTP, the Bank’s Director of Agriculture and Agro-Industries, Chiji Ojukwu, said The development of the cassava training programme is one of the many programmes of ENABLE (Empowering Novel Agri-Business-Led Employment) Youth Programme of the AfDB. There will be more of such programmes to be developed with the Brazil Africa Institute.”

The President of the Brazil Africa Institute, JoAPound o Bosco Monte, was optimistic that the trainees go back to their different counties with sound cassava production and processing training and skills at the end of the period.

He said the dream of his Institute was to work with AfDB to increase the number of participants for the cassava processing training to at least 300 in the coming years.

This is just the beginning, he assured.

The Minister of Youth and Employment of CAte d’Ivoire, Sidi Toure, described the YTTP as important to Africa, stressing how the country would tap from the knowledge of Ivorian participants.

I am optimistic that this programme will change the fortune of African youths, he added.

Nteranya Sangina, the Director General of the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), urged the trainees to tap into the expertise available in Brazil and prepare to contribute to making cassava a crop for food security in Africa.

He recalled how, as Nigeria’s Minister, AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina, moved aggressively on import substitution with the use of cassava flour for composite flours in bread-making and confectionery industries.

Brazil has several products processed from cassava. When you get there, study and acquire knowledge of modern technologies as much as you can, he charged the 30 YTTP trainees.

My dream is to have greater collaborations between young Brazilians and young African in the cassava processing sector.

In their speeches, Bright Okogu, the AfDB Executive Director for Nigeria and SAPound o Tome and Principe; and Hiromi Ozawa, Executive Director for Brazil, Argentina, Austria, Japan and Saudi Arabia, highlighted the potential impact of the project on the relationship between Africa and Brazil.

Source: Ghana News Agency