Africa Day Conversations: Connecting with Our Land

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Africa Day on May 25 is an opportunity for all Africans, local and abroad to come together and celebrate our people, our culture and our connectedness. Commemorating the founding of the Organisation of African Unity now the African Union, the day is also about reflecting on where we have come from and where we are going as a continent.

For this year’s Africa Day, Higherlife Foundation through ABCs for Prosperous Minds and Reimagine Rural Fund, held a webinar for African youth under the theme ‘Connecting with Our Land to expose them to opportunities in agriculture and networking and ways they can contribute to Africa’s development and prosperity.

Featuring an array of speakers including agriculture experts and entrepreneurs, and a panel of serial networkers, the two-part webinar series attended by over 700 participants exposed attendees to ways in which they can benefit from the agriculture value chain and from being a part of formal networks.

It is All About Agriculture

The discussion on agriculture and the opportunities that exist kicked off with Barbara Chivandire, the Reimagine Rural Fund team lead sharing the work Higherlife Foundation is doing in rural transformation through the climate smart agriculture initiative, Pfumvudza.

Our pilot project of 2,500 plots is just about to end and this year we’re planning on scaling to 30,000 plots all in line with our vision to see Zimbabwe become an upper middle-income economy by 2050.

“We are excited about Pfumvudza and the opportunities that it provides to young people to be a part of the agricultural revolution. We will be targeting young people and encourage everyone to find a piece of land where they can start their Pfumvudza today.” – Barbara Chivandire

Permanent secretary of the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Resettlement Dr John Basera sent through a video message illuminating the numerous opportunities government had created for young people in agriculture from performance-based loan facilities to access to inputs. He highlighted that the youth do not necessarily need to own land to be able to farm but and can seek out partnerships with landowners where both parties can be protected.

“If we get agriculture right, we are on the right track to get everything right. Agriculture should take centre stage towards Vision 2030 and leave no one behind. Youth participation is critical, and I am very confident about the future because we have talented and creative Zimbabwean and African youth.” Dr John Basera

Head of Agronomy Services at SeedCo Zimbabwe, Wendy Mudzura, joined the conversation share a presentation on the career opportunities available in the agricultural sector and just how much the youth can do to drive the sector towards the vision 2030 national goals.

“Africa is yearning for growth Zimbabwe is yearning for growth youth participation is central to achieving sustainable growth across the agriculture value chain. Young people should look at the many opportunities that exist in agriculture and find a way to participate.” – Wendy Madzura

Making the Agriculture Work

A highlight of the webinar was the testimony of Terrence Maphosa a young agri-prenuer from Village 6, Mhondoro-Ngezi, known popularly on twitter as @Terrymap1. Terrence shared his journey from a political science graduate to becoming a poultry farmer. He spoke of leaving the city, returning to the village to launch this agriculture project and the incredible impact it has had on his life and that of his family.

Terry’s journey is not one without strife, but he decided to venture in agriculture and preserved to make the most of the one acre of land his mother lives on. His success has seen him expand his operations, provide day old chicks to community members and other aspiring poultry farmers and engage in community development to lift others up and support them as he had been supported.

Listen to Terry sharing with Mrs Masiyiwa what his grand vision is for his life.

Your Network is Your Net Worth

The second half of the webinar was a panel discussion on networking featuring Trish Hakata, Ruvimbo Zhewe and Kudzai Milton Murongazvombo. The three share insights on how networking has helped their careers, the different types of networks they are a part of and what young people can do today to build good networks.

The quote of the day on the networks discussion came from a presentation done by Higherlife Foundation’s Moses Machipisa, “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far go together” – African Proverb

For a full experience of the webinar, you can check it out here.


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