Context and program development:
GID (Inter-Academic Group for Development) is a Euro-African structure created in 2007, gathering 30 national academies from Southern Europe and Africa. It organizes brainstorming forums, Euro-Mediterranean (Parmenides) and Euro-African (African Forum of Science and Technology for Development - FastDev), bringing together all the actors of development in a considered field to bring out real development needs, to determine which knowledge is available and which knowledge needs to be developed, to identify obstacles to their mobilization and to develop recommendations to overcome them.The GID-FastDev forum held in Dakar in February 2016 stressed the importance of agriculture and agri-food for youth employment in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the necessary co-construction of training courses and enterprises. Later meetings and exchanges between academies, NGOs and partners have confirmed these choices and contributed to gradually develop the program GID-FastDev program 2017 for agriculture.
Jobs in agriculture open up major opportunities for the future; it is imperative to give envy and hope to young African to settle there. By consulting this platform, interested young people should find a real motivation to develop an entrepreneurial spirit. It is therefore very important to disseminate examples of real success stories, emphasizing the diversity of conditions for their success: access to water and energy, land issues, financing and markets access, agricultural management...
Targeted publics and countries:
Young farmers, young rural and urban migrants looking for jobs, regardless of their level of knowledge, fieldworkers from associations and cooperative management structures, and women, who play a major role in processing and marketing of agricultural products. 13 sub-Saharan African countries are involved, representing different types of climate, pedology and natural resources: Ivory Coast, Senegal, Benin, Togo, Mali, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Nigeria, Mauritius, Madagascar, South Africa, DR Congo.
To ensure this communication, two main tools will be deployed during the operation:
- The ICT (website, mobile phone, social networks, blogs of discussion, etc ...) and particularly mobile telephony, which are finding in Africa a space of extraordinary and very fast development.
- In the field, this dissemination will be relayed, followed and reinforced by the setting up of a networks of farms-schools or farm-ventures in rural areas, adapted to each territory, which will be gradually implemented on the basis of existing structures to be identified and validated.
Program feasibility and governance:
First, the prerequisites and conditions for the success of the program, in particular the necessary environment for agricultural development, will be studied in test operations. During the project phase, the governance of the operation will be ensured by a Steering Committee set up by GID and its partners, in particular with the French Academy of Agriculture (AAF), one of the founding academies of GID.This committee will be complemented by Scientific Council and an Academic Committee (composed of African and French academicians and specialists) responsible of endorsing the proposed examples of success stories in accordance with their degree of consistency with regard to the selection criteria.
This scientific and academic guarantee brought by GID network is key to success of the operation, as this type of guarantee does not currently exist.
Typology of success stories examples to be presented:
First and foremost the spontaneous projects of innovation, training projects (farm-schools) and demonstration project (prototypes), and in the second priority R & D projects, and public policies projects.
Sources of identified examples:
Many structures will be consulted in Africa and in Europe: science and technology academies, ministries of agriculture and livestock, teaching and research organizations, NGOs, foundations, associations, professional structures, development and financing agencies, etc…
The most demonstrative and interesting examples for the goals of the program will undergo a rigorous and thorough selection by Scientific Council and Academic Committee. The design and realization of the digital media will be organized thanks to appropriate financing to be set up.
Selection criteria for identifying examples of success stories:
- Employability: the fundamental criterion and guiding principle of the program. The selected projects must be exemplary in terms of jobs generated by agricultural production, upstream and downstream, and expected outcomes for youth employability in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Innovation: Institutional, organizational or technical;
- Value chain: improvement of added value;
- Replicability/transportability: capacities of appropriation by others, in other contexts;
- Presence of a structured and structuring partnership with local capacities (organisations, professional sectors…);
- Diversity: thematic, geographical and social;
- Sustainability: financial, environmental and social;
- Vocational and professional training component: strengthening professionalization in response to policy-makers expectations and the needs of tomorrow's new agricultural jobs in Africa.
Implementation schedule and communication:
- March 2nd 2017: Official inauguration of GID-FastDev program 2017 for agriculture at Paris International Agricultural Show, in the presence of French and African ministers of Agriculture and Livestocks.
- June-September 2017: Implementation phase (in progress) - identification of examples of success stories from the field and creation of the dedicated Internet platform.
- November 20-21 2017: Workshop-Forum in Abidjan International Agriculture and Animal Resources Fair (SARA) and presentation/discussion of a first panel of 20 successful examples (download the program of the forum).
- January 2018 : creation of a dedicated platform by Agropolis (Montpellier).
- March 2018 : Conference at the International Agriculture Fair in Parisin presence of relevant african ministers or their representatives to conclude the Abidjan workshop and to decide the next steps.
This last phase is essential for the highest African authorities to support the programme and enable a wide dissemination of this concept after securing, in certain territories, the necessary conditions for the realization of the projects (land issues, financing, irrigation or energy access…)./.