Access to land and agriculture and the existence of agricultural monopolies were two of the issues examined by the inaugural Youth Africa Working Summit.
300 delegates gathered to devise ways to turn the more than 200 million young people into human capital to achieve the aims set by the African Union’s Agenda 2063. Deputy Minister Buti Manamela described in his speech how young Africans were alienated from working the land through colonialism, lack of funding and lack of access to technology.
“With the development of technology, agriculture can no longer be regarded as hard labour; however, even where there is access to land, many young people cannot work the land beyond subsistence farming as long as they cannot have access to the much needed technology that is mostly accessible through imports,” said Manamela.
Manamela also argued that African commercial agriculture has been strangled by internal and external monopolies, leading to African produce not faring well locally or internationally compared to heavily subsided imports from other continents. “The problem of institutions being able to interpret policy and implement it in defense of small entrepreneurs in the sector is a big issue,” says Manamela.