Nurturing Youth Leadership in Africa
Beijing – Agricultural development is the key driver for enhanced food security and poverty alleviation. During the past four decades of reform and opening up, China has accumulated rich experience in promoting agriculture and rural development. These experiences can be shared among more developing countries in Africa, as well as with countries benefiting from China’s Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road initiative.
In this context, on the sidelines of the 2018 China-Africa Cooperation Forum (FOCAC), China Agricultural University’s China Institute for South-South Cooperation in Agriculture (CISSCA) and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) jointly launched the first “South-South Cooperation / Belt and Road – Nurturing Youth Leadership for Agricultural Development in Africa”.
This program is fully funded by the Government of China, and supported by the World Food Programme (WFP), the World Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
30 young government officials and established young leaders in the agribusiness sector, from close to 20 African countries, joined the intensive training in Beijing starting August 27.
The training focuses on sharing good practices of China in promoting South-South agricultural cooperation. It also presents roles of different actors including government, market and international institutions in promoting agricultural development. The training also features a field trip and “China-Africa Youth Development and Poverty Reduction Dialogue” to exchange views among participants.
During the Opening ceremony, Representative from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Mr. Lijun Zhao, shared his thoughts that South-South cooperation as a development modality can make a big influence in promoting inclusive development. He thinks that Chinese South-South agricultural cooperation in the new era is mainly focusing on utilizing comparative advantages of China and international organizations and sharing experiences of China in promoting South-South cooperation for agricultural development with other developing countries in Africa and along the Belt and Road.
Assistant Minister from the Ministry of Agriculture of Liberia, Mr. Alwin Chinyun Wesseh, spoke at the Opening and expressed his deep appreciation on behalf of the President of Liberia and all participating young leaders, as well as all youth from Africa, for the valuable opportunity provided by the Government of China, CISSCA and UNOSSC. He strongly believes that agriculture sector in Africa has great potential. Youth populations are the driving force in the development of this sector. He thinks the exchange, training and field study can further deepen the understanding between China and Africa, and enhance South-South cooperation in poverty alleviation, ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition in Africa.
Professor Gong Shiyuan, Vice President of China Agricultural University, introduced the mission of the newly established China Institute for South-South Cooperation in Agriculture (CISSCA) as the first platform focusing on promoting South-South agricultural cooperation and the “Belt and Road” Agricultural Cooperation, is dedicated to four areas of work: research on development cooperation and South-South cooperation, policy dialogue, capacity development training and overseas development practices sharing. He further shared his expectation on the participating young officials after completing their studies and field visits to be able to formulate concrete action plans in their local contexts which could be implemented and scaled up when back home. He hopes the participants can be goodwill ambassadors to further promote China-Africa friendship and collaborations.
United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on South-South Cooperation and Director of the UNOSSC, Mr. Jorge Chediek, sent his video message to congratulate the launching of this Youth Leadership Training programme and the successful implementation of the strategic partnership between UNOSSC and China Agricultural University. Representatives from WFP, FAO, IFAD and World Bank introduced their initiatives and portfolios in South-South agricultural cooperation in Africa and globally.
United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC)’s “Youth4South: Advanced Youth Leadership Programme” is an umbrella facility dedicated to supporting South-South cooperation in promoting youth leadership and capacity development.
“Youth4South” was launched by UNOSSC during the Global South-South Development Expo 2017 in Antalya, Turkey, in partnership with the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation, CISSCA, the Islamic Conference Youth Forum, FK Norway, IFAD, and UNFPA. It aims to:
1) Support the exchange of knowledge and solutions,
2) Provide capacity development training,
3) Provide youth leaders from developing countries accesses to expertise, seed funding and networks,
4) Promote dialogue to increase youth engagement and participation in global dialogues and discussions including ECOSOC Youth Forum, BAPA+40, Global South-South Development Expo, and World Expo 2020.
In addition to the already launched thematic clusters including agriculture, rural development, reproductive health, UNOSSC will also organize South-South cooperation trainings in thematic clusters including journalism and media, environment, green economy, as well as youth entrepreneurship and innovation, in the next 12 months.
来自利比里亚的农业部的助理部长 Alwin Chinyun Wesseh先生，作为学员代表讲话，他首先代表利比里亚总统，在座的以及代表广大的非洲青年感谢中国政府、中国农业大学、联合国南南合作办公室以及所有培训的支持方，为非洲的青年提供这样一个宝贵的学习机会。他认为非洲的农业领域有极大的潜力，青年群体对建设非洲的经济将发挥关键的作用。他相信通过这样的交流和培训，将会加强中国与非洲之间的理解，通过这次学习到的知识和实地探访的经验，现场的非洲青年官员和广大非洲青年将会尽最大努力和能力，去减少非洲的贫困、饥饿。
联合国南南合作办公室的“南方青年领袖培养计划”（Youth4South）是与联合国秘书长青年问题特使办公室、南南合作金融中心、中国南南农业合作学院、伊斯兰青年合作会议、FK Norway、国际农业发展基金会 (IFAD) 和联合国人口基金 （UNFPA) 等机构伙 伴，于2017年土耳其安塔利亚举行的全球南南发展博览会共同倡议启动的。