Based on the records of its research interventions and findings, Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU), Abia State, has been chosen by the African Development Bank (AfDB), as an Incubation Centre for the Empowering Novel Agribusiness Ltd Employment, ENABLE Nigeria Programme.
The ENABLE Youth Programme is being implemented in partnership with the Bank, the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), and the Federal Government. It is a Pan African Youth Entrepreneurship initiative, whose mission is to provide jobs for youths through the training of a new set of Agribusiness managers that would impact positively in making Africa to be food sufficient and attain food security.
The selection of MOUAU for this Programme was made known when the Coordinator of the IITA Cassava- Wheat Management Centre, Dr Alfred Dixon, led a team from the IITA to the University and met with the Vice Chancellor, Professor Francis Otunta.
The Vice Chancellor, whose deputy, Professor Maduebibisi Iwe, received the visiting IITA Team, said the University was elated by the development, pledging that all the needful would be done sustainably to ensure the success of the Programme. He also noted that Agribusiness has been given top recognition as a very crucial sector towards addressing youth unemployment.
Dixon said that the Programme implementation whose preparations and appraisal mission in Nigeria, was effected between July 10 and July 29, 2016, will begin in January next year.
A member of the team, Miss Oneye Olonaje, who explained that the ENABLE Youth Nigeria Programme will last for three years and is targeted at raising 1,000 agric entrepreneurs in each of the 36 states in the country and the Federal Capital Territory FCT, added that it is expected to create 222,000 jobs every year.
Olonaje said that the programme is also aimed at changing the mindset of youths to begin to see agriculture as a viable business venture, adding that two other institutions – Federal Universities of Agriculture Markurdi and Abeokuta, were also chosen along with MOUAU as the Programme Incubation Centres and partners.
These three universities and partners she said are to create the enabling environment for the training to support the development of agribusiness curriculum.
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