Feed the Future Senegal Youth in Agriculture Holds Steering Committee Meeting
Feed the Future Senegal Youth in Agriculture is a five-year project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Virginia Tech. The objective of the project is to increase the engagement of young people in the economic growth of Senegal through two components. The first is to support the institutionalization of a sustainable national program centered on Positive Youth Development named 4-H Sénégal in accordance with the 4-H principles. The second is to support vocational and technical training systems that create dynamic and profitable employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for young people, particularly on agricultural value chains and markets in Senegal.
On June 21, 2021, the first 4-H Senegal Steering Committee meeting was hosted by the Senegalese Ministry of Higher Education, Research, and Innovation and attended by the USAID/Senegal Mission Director, but also the rectors and representatives of the partner universities of the project.
According to Professor Amadou Gallo Diop, General Director of Research and Innovation, “This program has clear relevance. We bring together young people so that they can benefit from training and life skills that can benefit them in several areas.”
The project aims to improve vocational training and business development services by testing innovative approaches to strengthen the links between training institutions and the agricultural private sector actors and markets.
USAID/Senegal Mission Director, Peter Trenchard added, “These clubs open doors for young people in the professional world by offering them life skills that raise their awareness of the existing economic opportunities for them in Senegal.”
One of the central facets of the program is emphasizing that young people should be treated as resources that can be valued to make meaningful contributions to their societies. Positive Youth Development (PYD) focuses on engaging young people and their families, communities, and governments so that they are empowered to reach their full potential.
The Steering Committee meeting mainly revolved around defining the roles of the members and perspectives for the project. Three main areas were discussed:
The institutional anchor of the program and the role of universities in its implementation
The development of partnerships with the private sector and the relevance of having representation from that party in the committee
Fundraising to ensure the sustainability of the project
Intensifying, improving, and formalizing PYD in Senegal through the 4-H program before moving into a functional and sustainable Senegalese national program is important to the program’s sustainability and relevance.
4-H Senegal has impacted more than 4,000 young people, trained 875 partners, and has offered 272 business development services.