The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Brazil-Africa Institute (BAI) have set a machinery in motion to mentor African youth in cassava processing.
A statement by Mr Emeka Anuforo, AfDB’s Communications Officer, said the mentorship was launched under the Youth Technical Training Program (YTTP).
He said that the initiative aimed at training young African professionals in research and technology transfer and contributing to local capacity development.
“The YTTP initiative is sponsored under the South–South Cooperation Trust Fund (SSCTF) and will consist of an array of professional development schemes to meet diverse needs of African countries by utilising Brazil’s technology, skills and knowledge.
“Its focus areas include agriculture and rural development, health, education, information and communication, infrastructure, and the creative industry.
“As part of this initiative, both parties on Sept. 14 announced the commencement of training of African youth for rewarding careers in cassava processing.
“The first batch of the YTTP training, which was flagged off at the AfDB headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, targets 30 young African professionals (between the ages of 18 and 35) of the cassava value-chain selected from 14 countries.’’
He said that the trainees would receive a two-month training on the production chain of cassava at the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA) − a state-owned centre in Brazil.
The communications officer said that the cassava training initiative was launched in close collaboration with the Brazil-Africa Institute, the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
According to him, cassava is considered crucial to the food security of millions of people in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Anuforo said that most technologies developed in Brazil, especially those related to agriculture, were relevant to Africa; hence the increasing demand for Brazilian technology in Africa.
“The first batch of cassava processing trainees would be for two months.
“The development of the cassava training programme is one of the many programmes of ENABLE (Empowering Novel Agri-Business-Led Employment) Youth Program of the AfDB.
“There will be more of such programmes to be developed with the Brazil Africa Institute,” the statement quoted Chiji Ojukwu, AfDB’s Director of Agriculture and Agro-Industries as saying.