The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has teamed up with the Mastercard Foundation in Nigeria, through its Youth in Agribusiness Office, with a view to implementing the Young Africa Works initiative.
The partnership, which was developed in consultation with educators, policymakers, and entrepreneurs, aims to enable 242,724 young Nigerian women and men secure work opportunities in the agri-food value chain for the next five years.
It also aims to set up innovative and inclusive agri-food systems for young people between ages 15 and 35, supporting them to secure meaningful employment through entrepreneurship across Kaduna State, Kano State, and Lagos State.
Giving her remarks, the Nigerian Country Head at Mastercard Foundation, Chidinma Lawanson, said, ‘Agriculture is at the heart of Africa’s economic transformation. It will profoundly define the future of work. Work is all around us especially in agriculture (production, processing, financing, packaging and marketing). We’re focusing on agriculture in Nigeria because we see these opportunities and we will work with partners like IITA to make them visible to young people’.
Speaking on the initiative, the Training Coordinator, Young Africa Works-IITA, Evelyn Ohanwusi, said, ‘Our partners are well-positioned to provide the training, placement, and agribusiness support services required in the three target states of Nigeria. This optimal mix of partners will ensure that the project approaches reflect the special attention that the Young Africa Works strategy places on young women. The project will apply special approaches to empower young women in Northern Nigeria while considering cultural sensitivities’.
Photo source: State of Israel