A five member delegation from the Rural Enterprises Programme (REP) has visited the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, as part of preparations to implement a proposed new Sub-Component – the ENABLE Youth Program. National Director of REP, Kwasi Attah-Antwi, led the delegation which included Mssrs Charles Mensah (Financial Controller), Cletus Kayenwee (Monitoring and Evaluation Manager), George Afriyie (Institutional Development Officer) and Vincent Akoto (Technology Promotion Officer).
The Empowering Novel AgriBusiness-Led Employment for Youth (ENABLE Youth) Program is being funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) as part of its effort to fight youth unemployment in selected member countries. It was introduced by AfDB to help in stimulating the development of respectable income-generating rural enterprises based upon the energies and skills of the youth. The Program seeks to build the skills of selected youth and offer them incentives to remain within the rural workforce. It also seeks to reverse the misconception that the youth cannot contribute positively to rural transformation and should remain engaged in inefficient family farms.
REP’s participation in ENABLE Youth
Ghana was selected as one of 20 Regional Member Countries (RMCs) of the AfDB Group to implement the ENABLE Youth Program. Subsequently, REP, which is an ongoing AfDB co-funded project was chosen during its Mid-Term Review to implement the intervention in collaboration with IITA. It will target graduate youth in rural Ghana through a comprehensive outreach effort such as information, life- skills education, and commercially proven technologies and marketing opportunities. This will be done through internships, agribusiness startup through credit guarantee scheme and support for micro insurance products and creation of new jobs in rural and urban areas.
The purpose of the visit was to enable the PCMU meet the leadership of IITA and key actors in the on-going IITA Youth Agripreneur (IYA) Programme to learn from their experiences and to guide in formulating implementation modalities of the Program under REP.
Details of Visit
The REP team paid a courtesy call on the Director-General of IITA, Dr. Nteranya Sanginga and other IITA staff. Dr. Sanginga explained that under the IYA Programme, “the Youth work with the Youth because they know what they want”. He explained that the role of the management of IITA has been to provide the enabling environment, and stay the background to allow the youth to lead. He congratulated the National Director of REP for the interest and commitment demonstrated by travelling to have first-hand information on the IITA model. He pledged his organisation’s support to REP to implementing the Program.
On his part, Mr. Attah-Antwi explained that the objective of the visit was for REP to learn from IITA and tap into their experiences and lessons learnt so far to serve as guide for preparations to launch the Program in Ghana.
A meeting with trainee IITA Youth Agriprenuers, ITTA’s Country Leader for Kenya, Dr. Paul Woomer introduced the REP delegation to the guidelines on the development of the IYA program including the criteria for selection. The REP team also made a brief presentation on REP highlighting its interventions to address youth unemployment including the on-going Youth in Agriculture initiative being implemented in collaboration with the MOFA Farm Institutes. The REP team were conducted round IYA Project sites such as a hatchery, fishpond, processing center and cassava seed production unit.
The delegation met with a Ghanaian Scientist, Researcher and the Director of Humidtropics, Dr. Kwesi Atta-Krah to discuss how REP could structure the ENABLE Youth Programme to suit the Ghanaian context. The delegation also met with IITA’s Green Wealth Agripreneurs (made of the foundation trainees of IYA) and who are involved in the operations of a Business Incubation Platform (BIP).
At a wrap-up meeting to climax the visit, the National Director of REP, indicated that the PCMU will invite IITA to visit REP for further discussions together with AfDB, after which a core youth group will be selected to spearhead the program under REP at IITA. He mentioned that REP will prepare an action plan and sign an MOU with IITA to implement the Program.
The ENABLE Youth Program is about youth and women employment creation through market-oriented farming and agribusiness. It focuses on college and university-educated youths and women at the higher level; and youth groups seeking greater impacts within their respective communities at the lower end.
Attached is Photo Report.