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Re: Sustaining the Impact of Capacity Development Initiatives for African Youth in Agriculture

Ken Lohento
Ken LohentoCTANetherlands

Dear all

After my first input, I would like to respond now to question 5 : Is there a role for modern technologies, including Information and Communication Technologies, in sustaining capacity development initiatives?

Indeed, as specified by many contributions, ICT can play a very important role in sustaining capacity development initiatives.  At the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), I have been coordinating activities leveraging on ICT to engage different profiles of youth in agriculture, before, during after capacity development activities.

We have developed a four-pronged framework, to engage youth in agriculture using ICTs, as part of our youth ARDYIS (Agriculture, Rural Development and Youth in the Information Society) project.  The first approach relates to the use of social media to advocate for and promote agriculture opportunities, and the second one focuses on enhancing ICT use in youth-led farming and agribusinesses, in order to improve market access and business processes. The third approach relates to the development of ICT services targeting the agricultural sector by young entrepreneurs, and the fourth one encourages upgrading ICT use in all other agricultural professional areas in which youth can be involved, particularly in extension, agricultural knowledge management, etc. CTA has been implementing a variety of activities within that framework. See the picture attached and this report http://bit.ly/youth-ict-agri-report  for more information.

At each of these levels, after capacity development activities are implemented, ICT can help facilitate :

  • a) the launch and management of community of practice on the training subjects (networking of, and with, trainees for continuous learning and improvement, and for the deployment of future initiatives);
  • b) the sharing of best practices, lessons learned and post training opportunities;
  • c) awareness creation and mobilisation of other youths who were not beneficiaries;
  • d) access to  wider ICT-based opportunities (e-platforms, e-marketplaces where agripreneurs for example can find additional customers and trade) leveraging on new capacity acquired;
  • e) development of new tools by trainees;
  • f) training evaluation and delivery of more advanced training.

Best regards, 

Ken Lohento, CTA