Supporting African youth to build viable enterprises in livestock, fisheries and aquaculture sector
Goal 17 of Agenda 2063 accentuates engaged and empowered youth and children; as well as, Goal 4 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which advocates for ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Moreover, growing youth unemployment, ageing farmers and declining animal resource productivity under traditional farming systems makes youth engagement in animal resource production systems a priority. Similarly, the increasing demand and changing tastes and preference for animal products in Africa calls coordinated effort for innovation.
Therefore, the need to initiate the formation of national youth networks to support youth enterprises and enhance inter-African innovation, collaboration and trade in Africa is urgent. Consequently, the Pan-African Support to the AU-IBAR for a Sustainable Development of Livestock for Livelihoods in Africa (Live2Africa) commissioned the establishment of the African Youth in Livestock, Fisheries and Aquaculture Incubators Network (AYL-FAIN) at a meeting held in Cairo, Egypt from 25 to 27 July, 2018. The support for that meeting was made by the European Union.
The overall goal of the AYL-FAIN is “To support African youth to build viable enterprises in livestock, fisheries and aquaculture sector”.
The continental youth network supports investment and business start-ups in livestock, fisheries and aquaculture. AYL-FAIN is envisioned to contribute to reducing unemployment in the African continent that has 40% of its 400 million youth either unemployed or underemployed. Within the Network, there are young people who are engaged in viable enterprises, such as cattle rearing and ICT. These youth are creating jobs for other youths, thus demonstrating that the possibilities in income creation and livelihoods for youth are immense.
Recommendations by the Youth in AYL-FAIN:
- Respective Ministries responsible for Animal Resources should facilitate the establishment and official recognition of national AYL-FAIN chapters.
- The leaders of Veterinary Education Establishment should support the AYL-FAIN by providing a relevant and dynamic education and training that will enable youth competiveness for rapid transformation of the livestock sector.
- Veterinary Statutory Bodies to continue providing the enabling policy and institutional environments for inclusive integration of the youth into animal resource value chains.
- AU-IBAR and partners to support the establishment of Regional Incubation hubs and Small Scale Incubation Hubs across the continent to drive the job creation agenda of AYL-FAIN.
- Development partners to engage and support the youth in business Incubation, value addition and access to markets.
Key actions for Live2Africa (AU-IBAR) support of AYL-FAIN:
- The Network registered and endorsed by the African Union Summit.
- Youth desks/ secretariats established and operationalized at the continental and regional levels.
- Governance and management meetings supported.
- Development of hubs and national networks supported in 15 Member States.
- The development of a five year investment plan and strategy supported.
- Development of technology platforms supported.
- A database of youth in agribusiness established.
- Capacity development supported through sub-delegation.