The East African Community (EAC) looks forward to having success stories of the youth, who engage in agriculture for economic prosperity.
EAC Deputy Secretary General Christophe Bazivamo said having the successful youth would enable others to learn.
He was speaking in Dar es Salaam during a two-day regional validation workshop on best youth agribusiness models in EAC partner states.
“If properly utilised, the youth have the potential to boost productivity and strengthen inclusive economic growth,” he stated. He said in this new initiative, the EAC would be collaborating with Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to address youth unemployment through agriculture.
“Engaging the youth in an agri-food chain is increasingly seen as a viable solution to youth unemployment, food insecurity, rural poverty and distress migration for EAC,” he remarked.
According to EAC and FAO, the youth represent 48 million of the total population of the EAC partner states in the next 20 years. The number is expected to grow to 82 million.
The EAC senior official urged the youth in the EAC bloc to change the mind-sets and appreciate what they had. For his part, Mohamed Aw- Dahir, senior officer (programme and partnership) in the sub-regional office for Eastern Africa (SFE), said as part of FAO commitment to supporting member states to achieve sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) they had also decided to support the youth in agriculture to ensure no one was left behind. Aw-Dahir added that they would enable the youth not to deal with insecurity issues, but also participate in economic growth through agriculture. In his key note address during the workshop, East Africa Legislative Assembly (Eala) MP Mathias Kasamba said the region should utilise young people because they were central to productive work.