FANRPAN Trains 40 Young African Graduates and Scholars (AYGS)  

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The Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) with support from the MasterCard Foundation convened a Policy Training Workshop on the side-lines of the Africa Young Graduates and Scholars (AYGS) Academy and Conference in Johannesburg, from 11-16 March 2018. The training workshop was designed to test a guide that FANRPAN has developed on how youth can engage in agricultural policy development using a case study approach.

The FANRPAN Policy Training Workshop  held under the theme  'From Science to Evidence Based Policy Advocacy’ was attended by over 40 participants, from Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda,  Zimbabwe, and diverse academic institutions and disciplines.

Youth employment has become an important policy priority in most countries and there is great interest to identify sources of productive employment and effective strategies to promote job creation and economic growth in Africa. The transformation of agriculture in Africa holds tremendous promise for catalyzing growth and creating employment opportunities for the world’s largest youth population. The next generation of farmers, researchers, scientists and extension workers are best placed to positively contribute to policy development as this has been a stubborn problem impeding agricultural transformation. Unless agriculture policies support young agripreneurs ongoing initiatives will not be taken to scale and impact will be limited.

FANRPAN believes that these challenges can only be addressed if those most affected by the problems are equipped with solutions. Addressing policy challenges helps create a conducive environment and currently very few youths understand how policies are made and how they can engage and use their own experiences to craft evidence based policies. In FANRPAN’s experience, over the last six years of working on youth related policy issues, the most frequently asked question by policy implementers, is "who makes policies and where do we go if we are not happy with existing policies?".

Participants benefited from the wisdom of FANRPAN CEO, Dr Tobias Takavarasha, Prof Amon Murwira, Honourable Minister for Higher & Tertiary Education Science & Technology, Zimbabwe, and Prof Crain Soudien, CEO, Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) who participated in a High-Level Panel and also served as mentors for the youth.

South Africa