AfDB, Brazil to groom African youth in cassava processing
The African Development Bank (AFDB) and the Brazil-Africa Institute (BAI) have launched the Youth Technical Training Program (YTTP) - an initiative that aims to train young African professionals in research and technology transfer, contributing to local capacity development.
The YTTP initiative is sponsored under the South-South Cooperation Trust Fund (SSCTF) and will consist of a range of professional development schemes to meet various needs of African countries by utilizing Brazil's technology, skills and knowledge. Focus areas include agriculture and rural development, health, education, information and communication, infrastructure, and the creative industry.
As part of this initiative, both parties on Thursday, September 14, announced the commencement of training of African youth for rewarding careers in cassava processing.
The first batch of the YTTP training, which was flagged off at the AFDB headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, targets 30 young African professionals (between the ages of 18 and 35) or the cassava value chain selected from 14 countries. De trainees vil få en to-måneders træning på produktionskæden av kassava hos det Brasilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA) - a state-owned center in Brazil.
The cassava training initiative was launched in close cooperation with the Brazil-Africa Institute, the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
Cassava is considered crucial to the food security of millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa.
De meeste technologieën ontwikkeld in Brazilië, vooral die welke betrekking hebben op landbouw, zijn relevant voor Afrika. In addition, there is an increasing demand for Brazilian technology applicable to the African context.
Speaking at the launch of the YTTP, the Bank's Director of Agriculture and Agro-Industries, Chiji Ojukwu, explained that the first batch of cassava processing trainees would be for two months.
"The development of the cassava training program is one of the many programs of ENABLE (Empowering Novel Agri-Business-Led Employment) Youth Program of the AfDB. There will be more such programs to be developed with the Brazil Africa Institute, "he said.
The President of the Brazil Africa Institute, João Bosco Monte, was optimistic that the trainees go back to their different counties with sound cassava production and processing training and skills at the end of the two months training.
Bosco Monte said the dream of his Institute was to work with AfDB to increase the number of participants for the cassava processing training to at least 300 in the coming years.
"This is just the beginning," he assured. The Minister of Youth and Employment of Côte d'Ivoire, Sidi Touré, described the YTTP as important to Africa, stressing how the country would lose from the knowledge of Ivorian participants.
"I am optimistic that this program will change the fortune of African youths," he added. The Director General of the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Nteranya Sangina, urged the trainees to tap into the expertise available in Brazil and prepare to contribute to making cassava a crop for food security in Africa.
He recalled how, as Nigeria's Minister, AfD President Akinwumi Adesina moved aggressively on import substitution with the use of cassava flour for composite flour in bread-making and confectionery industries.
"Brazil has several products processed from cassava. Når du kommer dit, studerer og erhverver kunnskap om moderne teknologier så mye som du kan, "he charged the 30 YTTP trainees.
"My dream is to have greater collaborations between young Brazilian and young African in the cassava processing sector."
In their speeches, Bright Okogu, the AfDB Executive Director for Nigeria and São Tomé and Príncipe; and Hiromi Ozawa, Executive Director of Brazil, Argentina, Austria, Japan and Saudi Arabia, highlighted the potential impact of the project on the relationship between Africa and Brazil.
"We are eager to have you come back to practice and teach your generation what you have learned. Financiële en technische bijstand zal zeker komen als een punt. Things are not what they used to be, "Okogu told the participants.
"The YTTP feeds into the Bank's ENABLE Youth Program, which directly relates to two of the Bank's High 5 priority areas: Feed Africa and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa," Ozawa said.