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BLOG: Youth, Agriculture and Inclusive Development in Africa, May 2016


This post is a response to the expert contribution ‘Passionate youth for agricultural development’, which is based on the policy dialogue between Dutch policymakers, knowledge institutes and NGOs on effective approaches to empower youth in agribusiness. The discussion appears to be premised on the assumption that rural Africa’s youth constitute a distinct socio-economic demographic that is particularly affected by unequal economic growth and income disparities. To support this argument, the article cites ‘barriers’ that prevent youth from effectively engaging in agriculture. Consequently, it proposes specific interventions to empower youth, within the new policy agenda of ‘inclusive development’. 

BLOG: Skills Training and Economic Restructuring to Create Jobs for Young People in Africa


Africa is a ‘youthful’ continent. In 2015, the number of African youth aged 15–24 years was estimated at 229.6 million, or 19.4% of the total population, with the 486 million children under 15 years making up another 40.9%. Moreover, unlike in other parts of the world where youth populations have plateaued or are in decline, the proportion of youth in Africa is expected to continue to rise in the coming decade. Thus, if only because of their numerical strength, young people’s choices, opportunities and challenges will be crucial in shaping the future of their countries. 

BLOG: Youth Entrepreneurship for Africa’s Transformation, May 2016

Your Commonwealth

“What Africa becomes tomorrow depends on how it harnesses the potential of young people today,” said Eric Shitindi, Permanent Secretary of the United Republic of Tanzania, as he officially opened a technical workshop on youth entrepreneurship, organised in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat, the International Labour Organisation, and UNCTAD. Held in Dar es Salaam, the initiative aims to support Commonwealth member states in East Africa to develop national youth entrepreneurship frameworks and polices. Delegations from Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia were present.

BLOG: University Degrees are not the Answer for Africa’s Unemployed Youth, June 2016

Quartz Africa

As a child, my friend Fola was good at math and excelled in the sciences and he wanted to be an engineer. But losing both his parents before the age of 15 changed everything. He was forced to adapt to a new and limited scope of opportunities available to him, both academically and financially. As he did, he learned how to deal with the trauma, adversity and setbacks and he built a high level of resilience. There are so many people like Fola who are bright and motivated, but due to challenging circumstances may not have a typical CV or resumé listing the universities they attended and the financial firms where they’ve worked.

BLOG: Inclusive agricultural transformation: How to Support Women and Youth Through Agribusiness, June 2016

INCLUDE, The Knowledge Platform on Inclusive Development Policies

There are many challenges involved in making agriculture more attractive to women and young people. Nevertheless, there is also much optimism and many initiatives taking place to overcome these challenges, as evidenced by the widely appreciated panel discussion on ‘Jobs for women and young people – the transformative potential of agribusiness’ co-hosted by INCLUDE at the Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Lusaka, Zambia on 23 May. Centred on the topic of agribusiness, this panel of experts discussed how agriculture can be transformed into a more productive sector and how it can create more employment for youth and women.

BLOG: Nonprofits & Tech Companies Share This Goal, April 2016

International Youth Foundation

For decades, nonprofits have been talking about how to use technology effectively. While the tools and platforms have kept evolving—CD-ROMs are ancient relics, having a website has become a standard part of doing business, and new buzzwords abound—technology companies’ outlooks seem to be changing too. They’re no longer simply selling products; their work is imbued with purpose. Now, the goal for both technology companies and nonprofits is social good, and we can achieve it together if each side better understands what the other can offer.

BLOG: Kwabena Danso, The Brain Behind Ghana’s Bamboo Made Bicycles, April 2016

Modern Ghana

Kwabena Danso is a dreamer and a go-getter, a man determined to change the world around him and make a positive impact on several lives! He is a self-motivated young person driven by a passion to contribute to the fight against poverty through the introduction of pragmatic social intervention systems and policies. Kwabena, a social entrepreneur who works in rural communities to provide educational and economic opportunities to the deprived is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Booomers International Ltd and also doubles as the Executive Director of the Yonso Project. He has had a life-long interest in rural development.

BLOG: A Young Entrepreneur Brings Language-Learning to Brazil’s Favelas, May 2016

International Youth Foundation

When bad news strikes, sometimes it’s hard to see past it. Such was the case this week when Brazil’s deepening political and economic crisis all but eclipsed news of the arrival in Rio of the flame that will light the way to the 2016 Summer Olympics. But it’s just at these times when it helps to focus on positive stories of what’s working and why. Gustavo Reis, the 23-year-old founder of 4YOU2, is one of those stories. An IYF Laureate Global Fellow, Gustavo launched his language learning enterprise to help those at the bottom of Brazil’s economic pyramid access high-quality English classes at a fraction of the market rate.

BLOG: Selling Entrepreneurship to a Million Students, April 2016


It’s Friday afternoon at Iganga High School in Eastern Uganda, but the students aren’t thinking about the weekend. One group sinks their hands into a papier mâché paste, another stirs a foamy liquid. This is no art project or science lesson; it’s business. The end products — egg trays and soap, respectively — will provide an income for some pupils. The students here are learning from a unique curriculum developed by Educate!, a social enterprise that helps young Ugandans start businesses while in school, through a combination of weekly classes, mentoring, business clubs and teacher training. 

BLOG: A Future That Will be Shaped by Changing Skills, June 2016

Your Commonwealth

The globalisation of commerce and the rapid advancements of technology have combined to yield a perfect storm. A storm that has eroded convention and tradition for innovation and revolution. Society and its constituents can no longer rest on their laurels. We live in a new world. A world that cannot be navigated through the old ways of earning a college degree and getting a stable job. It is imperative that society embraces the concept of lifelong learning. Lifelong learning is not just about upgrading one’s knowledge in his or her specialty. It can also be about picking up new skills in a different occupational domain.


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