Africa can and must strive to feed itself and the rest of the world eventually
THE BIGGEST problem we seem to have in Africa is that both the leaders and the led are neither keen nor ready to listen to those who have viable solutions for our own development.
African Development Bank’s vice-president for agriculture, human and social development, Jennifer Blanke, recently revealed that Africa spends $35 billion on food imports, yet we have the largest unused agricultural land in the world and a large pool of labour.
Indeed, Africa’s food problem is low productivity and lost opportunities through the exportation of primary products and buying back processed products at a higher cost.
We know that about 12 million young Africans come into the work force for the only three million jobs available. Our leaders do not seem to know that this situation can be and is already changing.
Our leaders should realise that the AFDB and other like-minded institutions should work with governments to train young graduates on how to become the next generation of agripreneurs.
Our youth should actually come up with businesses and innovations that not only thrive but also create employment. We have been reminded that agriculture is the key to Africa’s prosperity because of the huge opportunity it presents. We should be aware that agriculture is the key because it employs 60 to 80 per cent of the people depending on the country you are looking at and by 2030, it will be a $1 trillion-business annually. Kimani Njuguna Via e-mail