ICTs for Development

Markets and Value Chains

Investing in job creation for young people in Africa

6th EU-Africa Business Forum, 27 November 2017, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

November 22, 2017

During the 6th EU-Africa Business Forum to be held on 27 November 2017 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, CTA will be leading a session on integrating ICT innovations into agribusiness. The session will highlight the opportunities that ICTs can offer young entrepreneurs and help not only to transform agriculture in Africa but generate higher incomes and jobs.

With the overarching theme ‘Investing in job creation for youth’, the EU-Africa Business Forum (EABF) will look at the challenges and opportunities for investment in Africa in four strategic sectors – renewable energy, agribusiness, infrastructure and the digital economy – and will aim to provide solutions, particularly for the growing number of young male and female entrepreneurs.

CTA will lead a session on: 'How to integrate innovative ICT technologies into agribusiness’. The event will involve young ICT4Ag innovators, service providers, farmer organisation representatives and policymakers, who will share their perspectives and experiences and explore opportunities for accelerating digitisation as a major vehicle for transforming African agriculture. The session will place particular emphasis on showcasing successful examples of where CTA has played a leading role in supporting young entrepreneurs working on ICT4Ag, and demonstrate how crucial ICTs are for transforming African agriculture through improving productivity, market access and catalysing youth entrepreneurship.

‘Enabling policy environment'

‘ICT4Ag is a game changer in agricultural transformation in Africa, and young ICT4Ag entrepreneurs are making a difference for smallholder producers,” said CTA Director Michael Hailu. “Therefore an enabling policy environment is needed to support greater ICT innovation in African agriculture and such innovations also need to be scaled up to improve smallholder agriculture and build farmers’ resilience against climate change. This requires that governments and development partners invest more in rural digital infrastructure and digital literacy for farmers,' he said.

The EABF, integral part of the Joint Africa-EU strategy, concludes a series of business-related events held in Africa and Europe throughout 2017, including at the European Development Days in June 2017 on bridging the digital divide in Africa, and innovative agriculture for next-generation farms. Discussions from the focus will feed into the 5th EU-Africa Summit to be held 29-30 November, also in Abidjan.