Commission advocates job creation for youths through value addition

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Prof. Umezuruike Opara
Prof. Umezuruike Opara

INTERNATIONAL Commission of Agriculture and Biosystems (ICAB), has advocated job creation for African youths through value addition from the raw materials being produced on the continent.

The President of the Commission, Prof. Umezuruike Opara, made the call  in Abuja in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the 2nd Congress of African Scientific Research and Innovation Council (ASRIC).

He said the role of the African Scientific Research and Innovation Council (ASRIC) was vital in ensuring that the continent creates jobs for its teeming youths through handling and processing of raw materials during post-harvest period.

The theme of the congress is:“Freeing Africa from Hunger, Poverty and Diseases”.

“Historically, the African Continent has been known for exportation of raw materials; we dig the ground we find oil, we dig the ground we find gold, diamonds and so on.

“Even our own cocoa, agricultural product, we harvest them and export them to other countries to process and bring back to our continent.

“By so doing, what we have basically done is to export our jobs, export our value addition.

“What this programme should enable us to do on African continent now is to embark on handling, processing and value addition.

“It is these activities that will create those jobs for our booming young population.

“We all do know that 50 per cent of agriculture is on the land; that is production. What we want now is the other 50 per cent, which is post-harvest, and that is value addition.

“That is where you create jobs, where you create new services and new products.

“I think this is an area that we must concentrate on in the next phase of our development,” he said.

Opara, who noted that the ASRIC Congress must begin to implement the agreements and memoranda on the basis of its theme:  ‘Freeing Africa from Hunger, Poverty and Diseases,’ and in line with the vision of ‘The Africa, its Citizenry Wants’, and the AU Agenda 2063.

“The programme speaks on the Africa Agenda 2063, it also speaks about the Africa we want, talks about hunger, food security, eradication of diseases, and human capital development.

“What I think is more important is the action; we need to begin to implement, we need to do less of talking, we have a lot of agreements and memoranda.

“What is lacking in the African Continent and what I feel this ASRIC Programme can achieve for us is action on the ground; that requires mobilising resources and committing ourselves financially to those programmes we think are important to the development of Africa,” he said.

NAN reports that Agenda 2063 is AU’s blueprint and masterplan for transforming Africa into the global power house of the future.

It also identifies the growth in agriculture, transport, infrastructure, energy initiatives and ICT among others, with a view to boosting the continent’s economic growth and development. (NAN)

– Nov. 27, 2019 @ 9:15 GMT |

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