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Mazibisa dares Kirsty Coventry

by Mandla Ndlovu
12 Nov 2018 at 12:24hrs | Views
The Founder of Mazibisa Inc.  Nkosana Mazibisa has challenged Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry to show up for her duty and treat the Youth Ministry with the energy and urgency it deserves.

We publish his unedited statement below:
While I appreciate the tireless efforts made by Honourable Minister Kirsty Coventry especially in the sporting department, somehow, she has to multi task and cover other departments within her ministry such as Arts and Youth.
The way she is so quiet you would mistake her for some Zimbabwean ambassador to Yemen or other middle East country. We miss the vibrancy, energy and engagement that embodied the ministry.

The ministry of youth should be a mass mobilisation front in terms of innovation and skills development amongst the youths in preparation of Zimbabwean  vision 2030. Zimbabwe has one of the best lands in the world with favourable climate, and innovative young people can play critical role in defining agri-business through Information Technologies.

According to the United Nations, Africa s agribusiness industry is expected to be worth $1 trillion by 2030 and it makes perfect sense. The continent has a huge domestic market, owns 60 percent of the world's unused arable land, and has abundant labour resources, and a favourable climate in most parts. Still, Africa spends over $30 billion on food imports annually. A big part of the problem is, most of Africa's food is still produced by smallholder farmers(youths) in rural areas. They are largely poor people who use crude farming methods and have very limited access to capital. But what if all of us in the cities(including Bulawayo and Harare) pool funds together, invest in these rural youthful farmers, and take a share of the profits at harvest time? Would not that significantly boost food production, cut down the continent's food import bill, and make more money for both the investors and the farmers?

This business model is called crowdfarming , and it is a trend that could totally transform the face of agribusiness in Africa. In Nigeria, two crowdfarming platforms- FarmCrowdy and ThriveAgric-enable working-class Nigerians to crowd-sponsor farming projects and earn a share in the returns at harvest time. Last year, FarmCrowdy raised $1 million from US investors to expand its operations. In Somalia, Argi Farm is an online marketplace and crowdfarming platform that enables investors from across the world to play in the Somali livestock market.

Coming to skills development: Zimbabwe tops in Africa in terms of literacy rate though this literacy rate does not translate to innovative skills leading to job creation.  Of all regions, sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of education exclusion.

According to UIS data, almost 60% of youth between the ages of about 15 and 17 are not in school.Results from regional assessments by the UN indicate poor learning outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa, despite upward trend in average learning achievements. Many youths who are currently in school and varsities will not learn enough to acquire the basic skills needed to lead successful and productive lives. Yet this very age group is critical in terms of empowerment if ever we are to fulfill vision 2030 as a country and as a continent at large.

These will form the massive backbone of the labour force which must be innovative  and  develop skills required in the twenty-first century, which are contributing to generating jobs, and fostering innovation and poverty reduction.

 In order to achieve vision 2030 of making Zimbabwe a middle-income country, it is important to note that a skilled and knowledgeable work force improves the investment climate because skilled workers create an attractive economic environment for investors. The Hon Minister must start looking beyond sports; and start to strengthen a series of symbiotic actions which include awareness and outreach, the development of human capital and critical talent, public– private partnerships, multiple sources of innovation, intellectual property and funding for social entrepreneurs who are excelling in impact entrepreneurship.

In closing, In the famous words of Frantz Fanon, "Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it."

I choose to fulfill ours through engagements.

Mazibisa is a serial entrepreneur who recently won The award for outstanding community innovative leadership and business at a ceremony held in Nigeria.

Source - Byo24News