How farming could employ Africa's young workforce -- and help build peace | Kola Masha | Summary and Q&A

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How farming could employ Africa's young workforce -- and help build peace | Kola Masha

TL;DR

In Africa, armed conflict has increased sevenfold in the last decade, with the root cause being the high number of unemployed youth leading to insecurity.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What does the research from the University of Sussex show about armed conflict in Africa?

The research from the University of Sussex shows that armed conflict in Africa has increased by sevenfold over the last 10 years.

Q: Why does the speaker believe that unemployed youth contribute to insecurity?

The speaker believes that unemployed youth contribute to insecurity because they are like oxygen to fire, fueling the conflicts. Africa has a large population of youth, and without employment opportunities, they may become susceptible to involvement in violence and insurgent activities.

Q: What tragic event occurred in Nigeria related to youth unemployment?

In Nigeria, 16 young Nigerians, including Sandra, died in a stampede while applying for a job at the Nigerian Immigration Services. Tens of thousands of people applied for only a few thousand open positions, resulting in the tragic loss of lives.

Q: How has the Nigerian workforce changed in the past 20 years?

In the last 20 years, 20 million youth have entered the Nigerian workforce alone. Today, approximately half of Nigeria's population is under the age of 18, which means that almost 80 million people will be entering the workforce in the next 20 years.

Q: What success story inspired the speaker to focus on agriculture as a job-creation engine?

The success story of Thailand inspired the speaker to focus on agriculture as a job-creation engine. Thailand faced similar economic challenges in the past but managed to dramatically improve the productivity of its small farmers. Today, Thailand's highly profitable small farmers account for over 30 percent of its workforce, with an unemployment rate of less than one percent.

Q: Why do young farmers like Saminu often choose to leave farming?

Young farmers like Saminu often choose to leave farming because they witness their parents' hard work, yet their meager harvests do not lead to financial success. Without access to necessary resources and facing the pressure to sell their produce quickly, they often sell at low prices and struggle to make a sustainable income.

Q: How did the Babban Gona initiative attempt to address the challenges faced by small farmers in Africa?

The Babban Gona initiative aimed to make farming a viable choice for young men by bringing professional management and investment to grassroots leaders. They slowly gained the trust of farmers and worked towards doubling their yields and tripling their net income. Currently, they serve 20,000 small farmers and have shown success in their model.

Q: How much financing would be required to unlock the opportunities for African youth in agriculture?

To unlock the opportunities for African youth in agriculture, models similar to Babban Gona would require a financing of 150 billion dollars per year. While this is a large number, it equates to only 0.1 percent of all the debt in the world today, making it a feasible investment to transform the future of African youth and agriculture.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Armed conflict in Africa has increased sevenfold over the last decade, likely due to high rates of youth unemployment.

  • Nigeria, with a growing youth population, has experienced significant challenges in its workforce, leading to insecurity and conflict.

  • By promoting agriculture as a job-creation engine and improving productivity, Nigeria can follow the example of Thailand in transforming its economy and reducing unemployment and insecurity.

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