The introduction of agribusiness development concept to secondary schools in Africa was inspired by a youth organization in Bukavu (DRC), Newday Afrika, specialized in promoting agriculture education. Since 2017, IITA has been working with this organization in some schools in Bukavu to train and empower students to change their mindset towards a positive vision of agriculture as a business and employment opportunity.
Much of the impact of this youth organization was realized during the 2017-2018 school academic year when 603 young people from secondary schools were involved in the agribusiness development project. As a result of project activities, 33 pupils-initiated agricultural enterprises involved in rabbit, guinea pig and poultry production, and horticulture. Participating students receive some of the school’s best grades. Most of these students remain committed to continue in agriculture, even those advancing to the university level.
IITA has realized that this category of young people is at a critical stage in deciding livelihood paths with strong implications towards agricultural transformation.