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March 1st, 2018 / Pan-African Visions

Young African innovators are taking charge of their future and designing innovative agricultural technologies despite lacking access to finance, innovation hubs, and information according to a new report released by the Mastercard Foundation Youth Think Tank. At a launch organized by Restless Development in partnership with the Foundation, 14 youth researchers presented findings from Building Inclusive Agricultural Technologies for Young People, a report highlighting barriers and opportunities to the creation of agricultural technologies, their promotion, and uptake by young people.

“Elevating the voices of young people and trusting in their ability to solve the challenges they face is a core value at the Foundation,” said Peter Materu, Chief Program Officer, Mastercard Foundation. “This report demonstrates how young people are using their ingenuity to develop technology that has the potential to create employment opportunities for their peers and provide dignified and fulfilling livelihoods in the agriculture sector. Their recommendations in this report are actionable. It is essential that we listen and act.”

The Youth Think Tank was established in 2012 to ensure young people were meaningfully engaged in improving their economic opportunities in Africa. The youth-led international development agency Restless Development recruits, trains, and supports the young researchers. This year’s cohort ranges in age from 15- 24 and they are from rural and urban areas in East, West and Southern Africa. They also have a diverse set of educational and employment backgrounds. In addition to conducting research, YTT members have been trained as advisors and consultants, and equipped with skills that will enable them to provide strategic support on how to design, implement, and evaluate youth programs. Read more