Strong personalities for complex agricultural worlds, also in Southern Africa!

by Jan Pusdrowski

The first TOP course in Southern Africa, the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) Young Leaders Incubation Programme (YLIP), has been successfully completed. The YLIP course targets young emerging leaders in agricultural advocacy and young agripreneurs, providing them with insights into personal development, team cohesion, and understanding of agricultural policy contexts over a period of 3 months. Two extended physical workshops in South Africa formed the core, complemented by numerous online sessions.
Graduates of the Young Leaders Incubation Programme
Graduates of the Young Leaders Incubation Programme

The goal of this seminar is to nurture selected individuals already involved in Southern African continent associations or exhibiting entrepreneurial potential, empowering them to contribute more effectively to strengthening rural areas.

Physischer Workshop in Südafrika YLIP

With its rapidly growing population and vast untapped agricultural potential, the African continent plays a crucial role in addressing food crises and ensuring food security. Despite the ongoing trend of rural-urban migration, rural areas and the farmers operating there play a key role in addressing challenges. In most Southern African countries, farmers constitute over 70% of the total population. Andreas Hermes Akademie (AHA) views networking this significant portion of the population through well-organized associations and organisations as a highly effective lever. Investing in youth to strengthen tomorrow’s leaders drives both AHA and SACAU.

Physischer Workshop in Südafrika YLIP

Arrival, getting to know each other, and growing together

From Tanzania and Zimbabwe to Namibia and Mauritius: the 20 participants of the first YLIP cohort hail from eight different Southern African countries. In the first workshop, they crafted a shared slogan that continues to guide them: “We are diverse, we connect, we ACT for the future.” It’s this diversity and energy that should underpin the entire course. The heterogeneous mix of participants was highly conducive to exchanges among themselves, with trainers, and organizers. Each participant is unique and contributes individually, emphasizing that there isn’t one path for all, but there is a path for everyone

The first seminar bonded the group and emphasized topics such as presentation skills, moderation, public speaking, and team building.

Physischer Workshop in Südafrika YLIP

Online sessions with industry experts

Between the two seminars of this extended course, SACAU and AHA organized online sessions with key players in the African agricultural and food industry. Exchanges were facilitated with Theo de Jager (former WFO President), Elisabeth Nsimadala (EAFF), and Ishmael Sunga (CEO SACAU) on various topics. The series concluded with a panel of agripreneurs from the SACAU network.

Physischer Workshop in Südafrika YLIP

The grand finale

The celebratory evening provided ample space for intense conversations, particularly between participants and prominent figures from significant agricultural organisations. The formal setting of the certificate ceremony honored the participants, boosting their confidence and motivation to intensify their engagement in agricultural organisations and rural areas in general. Participants entirely orchestrated the festive evening, making it their own. It bore their signature and provided yet another opportunity to practice moderation and public speaking at such events.

AHA and SACAU view this pilot as the first milestone in affirming the YLIP course’s success. Alongside SACAU, AHA will conduct the second YLIP course in 2023, and all stakeholders are confident that this is just the beginning.

The Author

Jan Pusdrowski

Regional Coordinator East Africa

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