In addition to the latter, 6 other African Academies joined the event (Cameroon Academy of Sciences, National Academies of Sciences, Arts and Letter of Togo, Benin and Burkina-Faso, National Academy of Sciences and Technology of Senegal, Hasan II Academy of Sciences and Technology), bringing to 11 and 16, respectively, the total number of represented Academies and Academicians from Europe and Africa.
Announced in March 2017 at the Paris International Agricultural Fair, this event was in line with the conclusions of the first FastDev Forum organized in Dakar in February 2016 on "Youth Employment in Africa: the necessary co-construction of teaching-training programs and enterprises".
Thus, the Abidjan forum is the first step of the GID FastDev-Agri program, designed by the GID and the French Academy of Agriculture with its African partner Academies.The aim is to enhance, for young Africans, the job attractiveness through a renewed sub-Saharan agriculture, by providing objective information on the possibilities and the conditions of success for their professional projects in various agricultural sectors.
The GID-FastDev Agri program prepares the creation of an open access interactive platform, continuously enriched by tangible examples of successes endorsed by the Academies. Young Africans will find motivation and as well as guide for the developments they are considering.
The Ivorian Minister of Livestock and Fisheries and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development delivered the opening and closing speeches of the forum. The Senegalese Minister of Agriculture and Rural Equipment, member of the French Academy of Agriculture, shared his vision of the development of an African agriculture that should transition from being job hunters to active project promoters.
Entrepreneurship was at the heart of this forum, during which 14 testimonies of African agricultural successes were presented by their young promoters, coming from 8 countries (Senegal, Mali, Burkina-Faso, Ivory Coast, Benin, Togo, Cameroon, Mauritius), ranging from small scaled production, to secondary processing of agricultural products.
Three round tables focused their reflections regarding important issues essential in overcoming the obstacles to the fulfillment of these enterprises: access to finance, training structures and the use of ICT (e-agriculture).
The event, which was attended by more than a hundred professionals and young African entrepreneurs, benefited from extensive press coverage both internationally and locally.It was entirely filmed by AgribusinessTV, a Burkina-Faso-based rural TV channel broadcasted in 12 French and English-speaking African countries, whose aim is to inspire young Africans who tend to underestimate the agricultural profession, and to encourage vocations.
In addition, the GID-FastDev Agri held a booth throughout the Abidjan Agriculture Fair, attracting many people, mainly young people, with more than 300 contacts to follow.
The proceedings of this new forum are being prepared, and an action plan will be developed in the coming months for the implementation of the GID-FastDev Agri program.