For an economy that remains largely agricultural, an aging farming population is cause of worry for Ghana.
The trend of heavy food importation into the country needs to be reversed by making agriculture as lucrative and attractive to young people as other professions and vocations.
Africa Lead is therefore focused on building the capacity of young Ghanaians as champions of change to lead and manage structures for agricultural transformation and food security.
The program delivers the Champions for Change leadership course for university students to strengthen their leadership and management skills to be able to influence the development path of agriculture and food security.
At one of such training sessions at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Africa Lead’s Victor Adom told 3news.com that the government’s flagship economic and agricultural policies, especially the Planting for Food and the One-District-One-Factory initiatives, offer opportunities of the youth to be profitably engaged.
“We think that the youth of Ghana are ready for change,” he noted, observing that the youth are scattered in communities where food production and other agricultural activities are thriving.
“The government’s initiatives which are going to happen at the district and constituency level offer an opportunity for the youth to be engaged and if we can motivate them and challenge them to open their eyes to see that the opportunities are there in the communities, they will rise up to it,” he stated.
The Africa Lead program works to help realize the US government’s Feed the Future initiative as well as the African Union’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) goals of reduced hunger and poverty.
In Ghana, Africa Lead works with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and other non-state actors to build leadership capacities to influence change for poverty eradication and food security.
“We believe that if we all pull resources together, we will be able to make it,” said Mr. Adom.
The champions of change leadership training has the objective to inspire, energize and mobilize innovative leaders, champions and thinkers in African countries, who are committed to creative new approaches to achieving food security.
Trainees are challenged to appreciate their roles in food security initiatives, including active roles in CAADP and country investment.
They also explore and analyze major opportunities in implementing major agricultural initiatives and identify innovative actions that they can take to help overcome these opportunities.
Manuela Tobil, a beneficiary of the Champions of Change leadership short course at the KNUST, feels empowered to be a change agent.
“As a leader you have to be the embodiment of the change you want to see in your community and many people have attempted to solve the issue of food security but have failed as result of leadership capacity,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of ideas from the training and I hope to implement them”.
Provost of the College of Science, KNUST, Prof. Ibok Oduro, says developing critical thinking, collaboration and teamwork will help build a crop of leaders for change.
By Kofi Adu Domfeh |3news.com | Ghana