Sunday, 25 May 2014

Exploring Youthful Innovations to Transform Agriculture in Africa via #AfricaDayAgric Chat

The African Union (AU) observes its founding date, 25th May, as "Africa Day" every year. This is a national holiday in many African countries set aside to reflect on how far we have come in pursuit of continental unity and various aspects of life. Earlier, the AU declared 2014 as the Year of Agriculture and Food Security, and the diaspora team of GhanaThink Foundation saw this as the perfect opportunity to engage youth on their role in transforming the agricultural sector.

Yesterday a Google + hangout discussion hosted by the team explored the challenges, innovations and opportunities in the African agricultural sector. The event, hosted by Jemila Abdulai and Kirstie Kwarteng featured youth panellists drawn from research, business, ICT and other contexts within the agricultural space. Joining the discussion were David Aduama, Alloysius Attah, Acheampong Atta Boateng, Edison Gbenga, Dr Joy Odimegwu, Sidney Rockson and Worlali Senyo. Their rich insights were shared with viewers in various parts of the world through the Diaspora Camp YouTube channel. You can follow what was discussed through the video below:

Inputs were made into conversation by the wider online community via the #AfricaDayAgric hashtag on Twitter and other social media platforms. The moderators masterfully increased interactivity by highlighting core points made and questions asked by the Twitter audience. A summary of the Twitter conversation is also available through the GhanaThink Storify account, thanks to Ato Ulzen-Appiah.

I left the discussion thinking of: (i) the role of education in giving youth skills and making agriculture attractive and (ii) strategies needed to withstand the negative effects of climate change on agriculture. If you have any thoughts on these, kindly drop a comment and let's discuss.

The #AfricaDayAgric chat is part of the new DiasporaCamp Online series, and hopefully we would have conversations on other topics of importance to African youth, home and abroad. What topics do you think need to be explored?