Empowering young people in the circular economy to accelerate the development of innovative and job-creating sectors
December 9, 2022
Dakar, 9 December 2022 - The UNDP Sub-Regional Hub for West and Central Africa, in collaboration with UNDP Benin Country Office and the Songhaï Agroecological Centre, is organising a regional training on Youth Empowerment for a circular economy in Africa for 31 young people from 14 November to 13 December 2022 at the Songhaï Centre in Porto-Novo, Benin.
Over a month, 31 young entrepreneurs from 24 West and Central African countries will build their entrepreneurial and technical capacity in the fields of aquaculture and poultry farming. With modern methods and circular strategies, those young entrepreneurs will increase the sustainability of their businesses.
Based on their experience in the field of aquaculture and poultry farming, these young people are benefitting from practical and quality training on integrated production and the circular economy. By accompanying them, UNDP, in collaboration with the Songhaï Centre, is helping to optimise the contribution of young people towards the reduction of food insecurity, the increase of job opportunities, and sustainable economic growth,” said Nadine Rugwe Umutoni, Governance and Peacebuilding Advisor, UNDP Sub-Regional Hub for West and Central Africa
According to the African Development Bank, the huge potential of Africa's agribusiness sector is such that it is predicted to reach $1 trillion by 2030. Agribusiness will become the “new oil” on the continent, fuelling the motor of inclusive growth. At the same time, Africa is full of dynamic and entrepreneurial youth, determined to play a leading role in the continent's economic transformation. As such, it is crucial to support the efforts of these young people by building their capacity to create and sustainably manage agri-businesses, which create jobs and drive inclusive and sustainable development.
The regional training on Youth empowerment for a circular economy in Africa is part of UNDP's initiatives to support young people to become more involved in entrepreneurial and innovative activities in the opportunity-rich agribusiness sector. This support is deployed through training, mentoring and skills programmes that promote employment, entrepreneurship, innovation, and leadership. In addition to the opportunity to train in one of the centres of excellence in integrated agriculture, the partnership with the Songhaï Centre also aims to spread the Songhaï model in Africa as a response to the triple challenge of the environment, unemployment, and poverty including food insecurity.
The circular economy at the centre of this training involves using methods of regeneration and reuse of a product's components to extend its life cycle. This model recreates value and uses inexpensive and readily available materials and energy. According to the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), the various circular economy initiatives can support Africa's economic development, enhance the sustainability of development and make Africa more resilient to future threats. In addition, the transition to a circular economy can also develop job-creating sectors for Africa's youth.
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About the Songhaï Centre
Created in Benin in the 1990s, the SonghaÏ Centre proposes a coherent concept based on innovative and potentially reforming solutions for agriculture, serving as a circular model. This system focuses on "agricultural entrepreneurship" in favour of young people, using appropriate technologies and local solutions to climate hazards to address food security and sustainable development. Songhaï was recognised as a Regional Centre of Excellence for Africa by the United Nations in 2008.
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