Cairo, 23 July 2018- Members from various African Countries convene in Cairo, Egypt to participate in the Pan-African conference on veterinary education establishments, veterinary statutory bodies& agribusiness networks of women and youth in the animal resources sector.
In March 2018, the Africa Agribusiness Incubation Network (AAIN) had its first ever Youth Conference alongside the African Agribusiness Incubation Conference and Expo which took place in Dakar, Senegal.
The Conference meant to encourage the youth to engage in Agribusiness, Trade and Investment and be part of the Agribusiness Revolution in Africa.
The Two day meeting which being held under the theme “Unifying Africa to drive a more dynamic, inclusive and empowered animal resources”, is bringing together Agribusiness Experts, Government Agencies, Private Sector Companies, Donor Communities, NGOs, Women Innovators in Agribusiness, Youth in Agribusiness Networks, Deans of Veterinary Education Establishments, Heads and Representatives of Veterinary Statutory Bodies, Chief Executive of the African Agribusiness Incubators Network (AAIN), Dr. Alex Ariho, Representatives of Continental, Regional and National Networks for Women, Members of the African Women in Animal Resources Farming and Agribusiness Network (AWARFA-N) and Youth engaged in Livestock, Fisheries and Aquaculture value chains among others
Africa has the world’s youngest population with about 60% of it being under 35 years old, of which 420 million are aged between 15 and 35.
The ongoing conference is targeting the growing youth to play an active role in Africa’s Animal Resources sector while at the same time contributing to jobs and wealth creation.
Speaking at the Official opening of the conference, the Director of African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), Prof Ahmed Elsawalhy said that “During the meeting the Youth will receive training on Agribusiness incubation for the transformation of the animal resources sector across the continent.”
“I am really proud and grateful to all of you for your engagement in the acceleration the transformation of Animal resources sector as envisioned in the Malabo declaration.” Prof. Ahmed added
Since its establishment, the African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), has led the continent to coordinate the development and utilization of animal resources for human wellbeing and economic development in the Member States of the African Union.
Over this period, Prof. Ahmed noted some significant achievements which have been made.
However, as the population of Africa continues to increase, more demand is being placed on the animal resources sector: to provide safe and quality Animal Source Foods to meet the food and nutrition security needs of the continent and to provide jobs especially for women and youth in Africa.
Prof. Ahmed noted that Africa still needs to improve veterinary education to produce the skilled and professional workforce capable of responding to the needs of the industry and the rapidly evolving global, continental and regional contexts.
Apart from that, Prof. Ahmed added “We also need well-regulated animal health systems across the continent which is critical to efficient animal production and the facilitation of intra-regional trade especially within the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area”
“We also need to better integrate women and youth into the Animal Resource Sector by creating conducive institutional and policy environment for equitable investment and governance while at the same time making the ICT an indispensable component of the animal resource sector.” He said.