Sustaining Agriculture Action Program-SAAP, a not-for-profit initiative has been adjudged the 2nd best youth- led youth-focused sustaining agriculture project at the 2014 iHAV Project Conference in Accra.
This recognition came after the concept which was developed by a 6-member-team of participants, was among other 5 projects, pitched before a distinguished panel of social enterprise and agribusiness experts including Mr. Charles Sam of Golden Future Promotions, Ms Sherrie Thompson of Global Resolve Africa and Mr. Edison Gbenga of AGRIPPO.
The project which is an agriculture exchange, tourism and internship program seeks to groom and grow the next generation of young people to take over the agriculture sector either as employees or employers by connecting them to agricultural initiative, jobs, farms and produce. It will employ hands on tools such as farm camps for students and young researchers to find and test their thinking; farm clubs to provide mentorship on sustainable agriculture; and advocacy through writing and photo taking.
SAAP was centred on the theme, ‘‘the role of the youth in driving sustainability in agriculture’’. The team comprised participants from Ghana (Bernard Kwofie, Herbert Acheampong, Nana Opoku Agyeman-Prempah, Mimi Koranteng), Nigeria (Emmanuel Oladejo), and Zimbabwe (Prince Bango).
According to the judges SAAP was selected based on its creative ability to provide hands on agricultural experience to young people as well as it multiple funding avenues.
The project is expected to receive technical assistance from iHAV and to be in running by the next conference in 2015.
IHAV conference is a project-based conference which gathers from across the globe, 100 outstanding and innovative African youth visionaries and 10 inspiring leaders and change champions to discuss topics of global relevance, and come up with sustainable projects particularly directed at improving quality of life in Africa.
At the conference, participants are taken through several workshops, discussions, debates and talks to challenge them to not just be problem identifiers, but providers of sustainable solutions. Participants are also grouped and tasked to come up with feasible and sustainable solutions to a stated problem.
Outstanding project proposals are chosen and supported for implementation.
The 2014 conference which was the second in edition was on the theme ‘Creating an Agribusiness Revolution with Africa’s Youth’. It brought together about 100 African youth activist aged 18 to 28 from countries including: Ghana; Nigeria; The Gambia; Kenya; Ethiopia; Uganda; Zimbabwe; Guinea; Tanzania; Botswana; Malawi.
The conference also attracted speakers including Mrs. Eva Lokko, former PPP running mate, Mr. Franklin Cudjoe of Imani, Dr Gheyisaka Agambila, Mr. Charles Sam, Mr. Philip Abayori, Ms Sherrie Thompson, and Mr. John Armah. Two projects, TRANSOKO and SAAP were selected for support in their implementation at this year’s conference.
Speaking at the opening, the President and CEO of iHAV, Christabel Ofori challenged participants to embrace the present and be more action-oriented. ‘‘The future is now, and we are already late. Let us go pass the talk, over-reliance on governments, apathy towards nation-building and pick up our mantle as today’s thought leaders and solution providers’’, she said.
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