Workshop in Kenya to Explore the Future of Youth in Africa’s Agri-food Systems

Mombasa, June 2023 – African youth are active in many roles across the Agri-food systems playing important and diverse roles as food producers, innovators, environmentalists, researchers, and activists. This sets the context for a detailed and highly engaging series of workshops and discussion sessions held in Mombasa, Kenya to gain critical insights and perspectives on the potential opportunities and risks for dignified and fulfilling work for youth in the African agri-food systems.
The workshops were held through a collaboration between Foresight4Food, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), and AGRA and funded by the Mastercard Foundation with input from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
The foresight orientation online sessions and workshop brought together African youth representatives, youth leaders, and experts in agri-food systems to discuss the future of youth in Africa’s agri-food systems. The workshop focused on the systemic changes needed to create more dignified, fulfilling, and resilient work for youth, especially in Africa’s agri-food systems. The goal was to generate conversations, and collaboration where possible, and encourage innovative thinking about how to drive systemic change to create more resilient, dignified, and fulfilling work opportunities for youth in Africa’s agri-food systems.

During the workshop, participants familiarised themselves with each other and engaged in discussion about their individual and collective challenges and ambitions related to agri-food systems in Africa. Through group exercises such as stakeholders

Spending time analyzing the data, participants identified some of the key drivers, trends, and uncertainties in the systems affecting youth work opportunities. Drawing from these critical uncertainties they identified, participants spent time developing scenarios and storylines, envisioning alternative futures. Finally, they explored potential pathways for driving change.

A pre-workshop literature review, data collection, and analysis were conducted as well as a series of virtual online onboarding sessions were held to introduce the foresight for systems change process, establish a shared understanding of the foresight analysis, and refine the research questions guiding the data collection.

Many interesting insights came out of the workshop revolving around African youth’s role in creating agri-food systems for their future, employment, and entrepreneurial opportunities for youth. Due to the growth and development of Africa’s agri-food systems, inclusive policy-making and youth agency is needed to create and nurture these opportunities, and for wider economic development to translate to to rural areas.

You can read the full Workshop Report, and Discussion Paper, take a look at the Data Resource, or watch Workshop Video to see the highlights of the event.