USAID and Africa Lead initiate agricultural internship programme

farming AndreaMoroni flickrAfrica has the youngest population in the world and 40 per cent are under the ages of 15 and 20. (Image source: Andrea Moroni/Flickr)United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with Africa Lead has initiated an internship partnership network namely Entrepreneurial for Opportunity Actualization (EOpAct)

This will help build entrepreneurial and vocational skills among young people to exploit agriculture industry opportunities.

The EOpAct, which is being implemented by the Agribusiness in Sustainable Natural African Plant Products (ASNAPP), is intended to bridge skills-set gap between industry, academia and graduates.

It also seeks to sharpen the skills of young people to fit into industry whilst at the same time hone the skills of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) to become productive, profitable and competitive.

EOpAct is a purely hands-on industry related programme targeting the agricultural and agribusiness value chains specifically horticulture, livestock and grains sector.

Dan Acquaye, executive director for ASNAPP, said at the launch of the EOpAct in Ghana’s Accra that about 30 per cent of Africa’s gross domestic product comes from agriculture and 70 per cent of the entire African population depends on the sector for their livelihood.

Agriculture also accounts for 40 per cent of Africa’s foreign exchange.

Acquaye revealed that Africa has the youngest population in the world and 10mn to 12mn youth are added every year while over 40 per cent are under the ages of 15 and 20.

The programme is not limited to students, SMEs, or graduates with agriculture background but also opened to those with other career or academic backgrounds.

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